Dollar plummets as US reports weakest jobs growth in six years, pushing back expectations of a US rate rise

by

The news caused the odds on a rate rise this month to jump (Source: Getty)

"Crazy". "Absolute shocker". "Unbelievable". It's safe to say US jobs growth just blew analysts' minds.

Official data published today showed US employers added just 38,000 jobs last month - the lowest figure in six years, and way below the 160,000 expected.

Meanwhile, earnings growth remained weak, rising just 0.2 per cent on last month, down from 0.4 per cent in April. Year-on-year, the figure remained flat at 2.5 per cent. Unemployment fell to 4.7 per cent.

Read more: Yellen says Federal Reserve will "proceed cautiously"

The news caused the dollar to plummet 1.25 per cent against the euro, to €0.8855, its lowest since mid-May.

It also hit widely-held expectations that the Federal Reserve would raise rates this month: CNBC reported the data had pushed the chance of that happening from 21 per cent to four per cent. 

Janet Yellen, the Fed's chair, is due to give a speech on Monday, indicating whether it is likely to raise rates at its next meeting on 14-15 June.

David Morrison, senior market strategist at Spreadco, called the figure an "absolute shocker" - and added that this is likely to delay a US rate rise.

"This is miles below even the most pessimistic expectation and must put an end to speculation of a Fed hike this summer.

"This was the last major data release (excepting retail sales) ahead of the Fed’s rate decision. It follows an improvement over the past month in some US data releases including the ISM Manufacturing PMI, Retail Sales and an upward revision to first quarter GDP. However, the data hasn’t all been positive with the Chicago PMI and Dallas Fed Manufacturing survey coming in weaker."

Morrison added: "So Yellen’s speech on Monday 6 June is going to be a big deal. Some analysts believe that Yellen may take this opportunity to prepare the markets for a hike in mid-June. The argument goes that by delaying now the central bank is sending out the wrong message about the resilience of the US economy.

"However, this payroll number, together with UK referendum on EU membership on 23 June is a giant fat bluebottle in the ointment."

Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Think Forex, was similarly flabbergasted. 

"The US Non-Farm payroll data was crazy and completely unbelievable and this is the last set of important data before the Fed meeting," he commented.

"When you look at the data set, it really boggles your mind because the unemployment rate has ticked higher. The productivity picture is even more confusing as it is not increasing. The data does suggest that it has some sort of political spin to hit.

"The data released has been very fruitful for gold as the dollar has dropped like a rock crushing the expectation for any rate hike during June. The precious metal was oversold especially on the daily chart and the near term support is at $1200 mark which is holding up as a psychological level."

Donald Trump also weighed in, calling the jobs report "terrible". Cheers, Donald.