The dollar index which measures the strength of the greenback against a basket of major currencies posted its highest weekly close since July 2017. DXY traded at a two-week high of 95.37 on Friday and settled almost flat at 95.16. The July job report revealed some weakness in nonfarm employment, where investors expected a reading near 200 thousand but the actual was 157 thousand. However, the prior reading was revised higher to 248 from 213. The Unemployment rate fell to 3.9% from 4.0%, and the participation rate held steady at 62.9%. Investors’ main focus was on the average hourly earnings as the wage growth is one of the main factors for raising interest rates. The average hourly earnings reading was unchanged at 2.7% as expected. Despite the fact that U.S. job growth slowed more than expected in July, the report supports the monetary policy stance of the Federal Reserve. The Fed kept interest rates unchanged in its meeting on August 1st but signaled further gradual rate hikes.
Gold prices finished lower for the fourth consecutive week, as the gold ounce posted its lowest weekly close in thirteen months at $1213. The gold bullion tumbled to a fresh 2018 low of $1204 ahead of the U.S. job report. On the other hand, the silver ounce ended lower for the eighth week in a row and settled at $15.40, its lowest weekly close since April 2016.
Oil prices fell slightly on Friday as China proposed tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods including oil and liquefied natural gas. The West Texas Intermediate Crude futures ended the week slightly lower at $68.56 per barrel and the Brent futures settled at $73.26. Baker Hughes reported that the U.S. energy companies cut two oil rigs last week to a total of 859.
Major Economic Events
|14:00||US||CB Employment Trends Index (Jul)||108.9|
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