Full-time jobs surge
Australia created more jobs than expected in March, and more than the bulk of those jobs were full-time ones. The economy added a net 25,700 jobs last month but the details show an increase of 48,300 full-time jobs and the loss of 22,600 part-time ones. The unemployment rate ticked higher to 5.0% from 4.9%, as expected as the participation rate rose to 65.7% from 65.6%.
The Australian dollar immediately spiked higher after the data, with AUD/USD soaring to 0.7200 and AUD/JPY to 80.61, but those gains proved to be short-lived as both pairs retreated back to starting levels. The 200-day moving average at 0.7193 appears to be a bit of a stumbling block for the AUD/USD pair, having been tested twice over the past two days but failing to hold above it on both occasions.
AUD/USD Daily Chart
Source: OANDA fxTrade
Fitch affirms Australia’s AAA rating
In its annual ratings review, Fitch Ratings affirmed Australia’s long-term AAA rating with a stable outlook, saying that the rating is underpinned by an effective policymaking framework that has supported 27 consecutive years of GDP growth in the face of substantial external, financial and commodity price shocks. It added that monetary policy is likely to remain accommodative to support economic growth and employment. The only issue could be household debt, which in Q4 2018 was at 189.6% of disposable income, and could pose an economic and financial stability risk.
Flash PMIs dominate the calendar
Today we get to see the first ideas about the state of the global manufacturing sector in April with the release of Markit flash PMIs. Most appear to be facing a mild improvement this month with the German reading seen rising to 45.0 from 44.1, the Euro-zone to 47.9 from 47.5 (though note that both are still deep in contraction territory). The US equivalent is expected to advance to 52.8 from 52.4 in March.
Aside from the PMIs, we have a slew of retail sales data. The UK’s March number is seen falling 0.3% m/m, the first decline in three months, while US sales are expected to surge 0.9% m/m, the most since September 2017. Canada’s retail sales for February are somewhere in the middle, with a 0.4% m/m expansion, which would be the highest in nine months.