NFP Friday: 2nd September 2022

EUR/USD licks its wounds around 0.9977, after posting the biggest daily fall in nearly two months, as traders await the all-important US Nonfarm Payrolls (NFP) during early Friday morning in Europe. In addition to the market’s preparations for the US jobs report for August, recently hawkish concerns over the European Central Bank (ECB) also underpins the corrective pullback.

The US Nonfarm Payrolls (NFP) and Unemployment Rate for August, expected 300K and 3.5% versus 528K and 3.5% respective priors, will be important for fresh directions amid recent counter-trend sentiment.

Ahead of the data, the Financial Times (FT) said, “The pace of US jobs growth is poised to have slowed in August after an unexpected acceleration the previous month, though it is likely to remain high enough to compel the Federal Reserve to plow ahead with its aggressive tightening of monetary policy.”

As a reminder, the state of the US labor market remains more uncertain and volatile than usual as it emerges from the unprecedented disruption of the COVID pandemic. That said, weighing the data and our internal models, the leading indicators point to a slightly below-expectations reading in this month’s NFP report, with headline job growth potentially coming in somewhere in the 200-300K range, albeit with a bigger band of uncertainty than ever given the current global backdrop.

A soft jobs report could present a short-term buy opportunity in GBP/USD. While the trend is inarguably in favor of the bears, rates are deeply oversold, so a weak reading on the US economy could prompt a bounce back above 1.17 in sterling. The expected clarity in the wake of next week’s UK Conservative leadership election, which will set the country’s next Prime Minister, could also be a bullish catalyst for the island nation.

Be ready for today’s NFP at 15.30 GMT+3.

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