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US Dollar, Treasurys Rise As Economy Lost 140,000 Jobs

January 8, 2021 at 13:50 by Andrew Moran

Many different USD notes as a backgroundThe US dollar is looking to log a gain in the first trading week of 2021 as investors potentially seek refuge in the conventional safe-haven asset. The US government reported a worse-than-expected jobs report for December, driven by a resurgence in the coronavirus pandemic that is approaching 300,000 new infections per day. Is the greenback on the verge of facing a correction higher?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the US economy lost 140,000 jobs in December, down from the 245,000 jobs created in November. Economists had forecast a gain of 71,000. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7%.

In other data, average hourly earnings rose 0.8%, average weekly hours dipped to 34.7, and the labor force participation rate was flat at 61.5%.

Manufacturing payrolls swelled 38,000, while government jobs lost another 45,000.

This was the first time since April that the national economy reported job losses. Since May, the US has recovered a little more than 12 million jobs, which is a little more than half of what was shed in March and April.

On Thursday, the US government reported that initial jobless claims fell to 787,000 in the week ending January 2. This was short of the market forecast of 800,000. When several other federal and state relief programs are factored in, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits has yet to fall below one million since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

That said, even with the disappointing labor numbers, the US economy is projected to have accelerated by 8.5% in the fourth quarter. But most estimates suggest little or no growth in the first quarter of 2021.

Despite the financial markets moving on from Wednesday’s riots on Capitol Hill, the leading benchmark indexes hit the pause button in pre-market trading. This week, they recorded fresh highs as President-Elect Joe Biden was officially confirmed as the winner of the 2020 presidential election. With the results of the special elections in Georgia, Biden will have control of the White House, Senate, and House, raising the likelihood of greater fiscal stimulus and relief spending.

Biden’s inauguration is scheduled for January 20.

The US bond market was mostly in the green, with the benchmark 10-year Treasury up 0.022% to 1.093%. The one-year note was unchanged at 0.107%, while the 30-year bond picked up 0.013% to 1.858%.

The US Dollar Index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, rose 0.17% to 89.98, from an opening of 89.83. The DXY was relatively flat in the first trading week of 2021.

The USD/CAD currency pair fell 0.04% to 1.2684, from an opening of 1.2691, at 12:41 GMT on Friday. The EUR/USD dipped 0.02% to 1.2268, from an opening of 1.2275.

If you have any questions, comments, or opinions regarding the US Dollar, feel free to post them using the commentary form below.

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