The Aussie Dollar certainly had an interesting session in the Northern Hemisphere on Wednesday. At the London opening it was down to 0.7945 but then was bought steadily and persistently through the European day and in the New York afternoon had regained all its prior losses and more to be back on US 80 cents for the first time since September and on to an intra-day high of 0.8021. Within a few hours it had lost three-quarters of a cent to 0.7955.
Overnight, the big news locally has been the Australian labour market report. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), employment rose by a seasonally adjusted 34,700, beating consensus expectations of a 15,000 increase. Employment has now increased in each of the past 15 months, which equals the longest consecutive streak on record. One more positive month in January, would be the longest uninterrupted period of jobs growth since the survey began in 1978.
Full-time employment increased 15,100 to 8,518,900 in December and part-time employment increased 19,500 to 3,921,800. The ABS noted that, "Full-time employment has now increased by around 322,000 persons since December 2016, and makes up the majority of the 393,000 net increase in employment over the period," It was the fastest growth over a calendar year on record, and the second fastest over any 12-month period, only beaten by a 409,300 increase in August 2005.
For all the positive headlines, the AUD was strangely unmoved. It had twice surged on absolutely nothing during the day yet an extremely good labour market report gave it no lift whatsoever. Perhaps it was news that the unemployment rate however rose to 5.5% from 5.4%. This was due to much stronger labour-force participation which might indicate some further spare capacity in the labour market and therefore a lack of wage pressure.
After a session in which European traders seemed to like the employment report more than their Australian colleagues, the AUD opens in North America this morning at USD0.7990 with AUD/CAD at 0.9950 and AUD/NZD1.0960.