Tags: jobs | payrolls | Federal Reserve | rates

Jobs Report Keeps Fed Rate Hike in Play for September

By    |   Monday, 10 August 2015 06:45 AM EDT

On Friday, the monthly U.S. employment report printed 215,000, which was slightly lower than consensus at 225,000, but upward revisions added 14,000 to the 2 prior months, which brought job gains over the last 3 months at 235,000 per month on average, which is "good."

The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.3 percent, as did the participation rate at 62.6 percent.

Average hourly earnings were up by 2.1 percent year-over-year and only by 0.2 percent over the month of July, which was not a stellar performance.

It’s certainly not an overstatement to say the report keeps the prospect of a Fed funds rate liftoff in September alive, notwithstanding the report as a whole failed to deliver a compelling support for that first rate hike.

Anyway, we’ll have another employment situation report on September 4th that comes just before the next FOMC meeting at 16-17 September, which will come with a summary of economic projections and a press conference by Fed Chair Mrs. Yellen, which could become interesting.

Based on Fed funds futures, the implied probability the Fed making its first move in September now stands at 56 percent, which is up from 40 percent only a week ago.

All that said and certainly not a main subject in all those ongoing discussions about when the Fed could make its first rate move, but nevertheless important enough to be taken seriously is the fact that once the Fed will make its “first change in its price for money” it will also (this is most of the time overlooked!) schedule the reduction of the “quantity” of money and that undertaking we could call the Fed’s coming “Quantitative Tightening.”

Yes, after 6 years of Quantitative Easing we now should have something like 5 years of Quantitative Tightening as it has been planned and that should amount $400 billion per year, and which should start in 2016, unless the Fed decides changing its plans which it always can do.

Long-term investors could do well to keep an eye on the Fed’s coming massive Quantitative Tightening undertaking that will go alongside rising interest rates.

No doubt, we’re entering in completely uncharted waters with many ‘known’ and ‘unknown’ ‘unknowns.’

Let’s for example only suppose the Fed would make extended use of its “Term Deposit Facility” in order to control the “floor” of money market rates and for which it announced last Wednesday two other testing auctions then the reduction of the monetary base could take place even before 2016 (!), which, if it were to happen, could initiate what we could call another quantitative “repricing” period, but this time around caused by “quantitative tightening.”

Let’s hope we’ll get some better-explained “forward guidance” from Mrs. Yellen at her press conference on September 17th.

Long-term investors should be aware markets could be in over the short term for another dis-inflationary surprise where the dollar has no other alternative than to go further up and consequently we could see further weakening of oil, precious metals, and so on…

That said, over the weekend China informed its exports in July were down by 8.3 percent year-over-year (y/y) while its imports were down by 8.1 percent y/y. Its trade surplus was down from $53.25 billion to $43.03 billion or 19 percent and which was its first back-to-back monthly drop since March 2013.

In addition, the Producer Price Index was down by 5.4 percent y/y, which brought it back to its worst level since October 2009 and is now down for the 40th month in a row.

Also on Friday, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) informed its foreign exchange reserves were down by $42.5 billion in June, which brought total reserves down by 16 percent from its peak of $3.99 trillion in June of 2014.

Nobody can take offense when we call these numbers as bad, but nevertheless these numbers gave Chinese market players again hope authorities will have to act to support the Chinese economy. The Shanghai Composite Index rose by 4.92 percent while the Shenzhen Composite Index rose by 4.49 percent.

For the Chinese investors it was once again: “Bad news is good news!”

Interestingly, foreign investors didn’t participate in China’s mainland stock market frenzy as the Shanghai-Hong Kong link was only used for 2 percent, which is ridiculously low!

All by all, it looks like we could have an interesting autumn in the markets coming up; yes, with a lot ‘known’ and ‘unknown’ ‘unknowns.’

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On Friday, the monthly U.S. employment report printed 215,000, which was slightly lower than consensus at 225,000.
jobs, payrolls, Federal Reserve, rates
Monday, 10 August 2015 06:45 AM
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