USD Pushing Higher as Non-Farm Payrolls Looms Large

US Dollar (DXY) News and Talking Points

NFPs expected at +185k after last month’s blockbuster +313k.

– US President Trump threatens China with USD100 billion of fresh tariffs.

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US Dollar Ignores New Tariff Fears, All Eyes on NFPs and Earnings Data

The US dollar index (DXY) is currently trading at a five-week high and is brushing aside fears that the current US-China trade war may escalate. Last night US President Trump upped the ante and threatened tariffs on an additional $100 billion of Chinese goods in response to Beijing’s $50 billion of tariffs on US goods. And in defence of the latest trade war row, President Trump can point to yesterday’s US trade deficit figures which widened to a nine-year high of $57.6 billion in February this year.

The US dollar however is ignoring this latest trade war escalation and is looking forward at today’s non-farm payrolls and average earnings numbers to gauge the underlying strength of the US economy. The March NFP is expected at +185k, down from last month’s +313k, while a slight decline in the unemployment rate to an 18-year low of 4.0% is expected. And with the labor market tightening, average hourly earnings – arguably now more important than NFPs – are expected to rise by 0.3% m/m and by 2.7% y/y, helping to fuel consumer-led growth. Further good news today will add to calls for a total of four US rate hikes in 2018.

DailyFX analysts Chris Vecchio and Michael Boutros will be covering pre- and post-NFP set-ups and price action live from 12.15 GMT.

The US dollar index currently trades back above the 90 level ahead of the data, and back at levels seen at the start of March. A break above this high around 90.53 leaves a gap all the way back up to 91.36 to be filled from the January 12 bear candle. The latest run-up has pushed the USD into overbought territory, according to the stochastic indicator, while greenback is protected on the downside by the 20- and 50-day moving averages which have converged around 89.47.

A robust set of US labor and earnings data at 12.30 GMT could well push the US dollar even higher, despite the ongoing threat of tit-for-tat trade retaliations.

You can access the latest IG Client Sentiment Report to see how traders are positioned in the US dollar against a range of currencies to help you shape your trading decisions.

US Dollar Index Price Chart Daily Time Frame (October 17, 2017 – April 6, 2018)

Chart by IG

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What’s your opinion on USD and the latest in the US-China trade war?

Share your thoughts with us using the comments section at the end of the article or you can contact the author via email at or via Twitter @nickcawley1.

— Written by Nick Cawley, Analyst

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