Risk-aversion dominated the headlines at the end of the week with the euro tumbling beneath the 1.20-level against the dollar to a fresh 4-year low at 1.1974. The major US equity bourses were sharply lower as the much-anticipated May labor report missed estimates, dragging the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasaq all lower by around than 3%. Sparking market jitters and ultimately triggering a renewed bout of risk-aversion was the morning announcement from the Hungarian Prime Minister's spokesperson - in which he identified the Hungarian economy as being in a grave state in which the previous government lied about economic figures and that it would not be an exaggeration for talk of default. The revelation hit the global markets and prompted a spike higher in the VIX index, which climbed higher by more than 14% from Thursday's close to above 33.6.
The highly-anticipated May labor report largely disappointed as markets had been factoring in a blockbuster report. Consensus forecasts had been looking for a surge in non-farm payrolls to 536k for May, instead adding 431k jobs versus 290k from April. The private payrolls figure sharply missed estimates at 41k, falling short of calls for an increase to 180k from a downwardly revised 218k in April. The inflated non-farm payrolls are largely attributed to temporary government census workers and will not be sustainable over the coming months. The unemployment rate dipped to 9.7%, better than expected versus 9.9% from April.
Canada's labor report was also released earlier in the session, beating estimates by adding 24.7k jobs in May, from 108k jobs in the previous month. The unemployment rate held steady at 8.1%, missing forecasts for a decline to 8.0%. Although the Loonie initially traded higher on the better than expected increase in jobs-added, risk-aversion ultimately dragged the currency lower, falling sharply by the afternoon toward the 1.06-level.
EURUSD remains mired beneath the 1.20-level, sliding toward 1.1963 as a result of increased uncertainty stemming from Hungary. Questions remain over the extent of Eurozone banks' exposure to Hungarian government debt in the event of a default, exacerbating an already taxed financial system. a