NFP Preview: April 2022

Publish Date 01 Jan 0001
Market Analysis /
Milan Cutkovic / Last Update 07 Jan 2022

Key data points:

Before we consider the expectations for the impending jobs data release, let’s look at some of the leading indicators from this week. While we can’t predict the NFP number based on this data, they can give us a rough idea on what to expect:

  • JOLTs Job Openings: 11.266M vs 11M expected and 11.283M previous
  • ADP Nonfarm Employment Change: 455k vs 450k expected and 486k previous
  • Initial Jobless Claims: expected at 197k vs 187k previous

The ADP exceeded expectations slightly, and initial jobless claims are likely to arrive in line with expectations. This is pointing at a solid NFP print on Friday.

Expectations:

  • Nonfarm Payrolls: Forecasts are for a 480k print. The previous NFP release exceeded expectations and came in at 654k.
  • Unemployment rate: The unemployment rate is expected to decline from 3.8% to 3.7%.
  • Average Hourly Earnings: Market participants are anticipating a 0.4 percent increase in average hourly earnings (month-to-month). The year-on-year is expected to come in at 5.5%.

Impact on markets:

The leading indicators are hinting at a decent NFP print, most likely within the 400-500k range. This would make a 50-bps rate hike in May by the Federal Reserve look more likely and give the U.S. Dollar a mild boost.

On the other hand, a disappointing NFP print could bring the Greenback under pressure, albeit only temporarily. The Fed is not concerned about the labour market, which has recovered strongly, but rather inflation. Weak jobs figures would unlikely affect their decision in May.

Euro: Bull trap or recovery?

EUR/USD managed to regain some ground after finding support at 1.08. However, the recent rally is more likely to end up being a bull trap than the beginning of a sustainable recovery. The ECB does not appear to be in a rush to hike rates despite persistently high inflation, and the war in Ukraine is putting the currency under additional pressure.

EUR/USD is testing an area of strong resistance between 1.1120 and 1.1190. A break above 1.1190 could pave the way towards 1.1280 resistance – a level beyond which the currency pair may struggle.

A stronger than expected NFP print will attract the attention of EUR bears and could cause an early end of the recent recovery.

 Gold to remain at elevated levels

XAU/USD has seen less volatility in the last two weeks as the initial shock about the escalation of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine eased somewhat. Nevertheless, with geopolitical tensions running high and inflation at worrying levels, gold is likely to remain in demand. More aggressive actions by the Federal Reserve are already priced in, so even a stronger than expected jobs report on Friday is unlikely to do any noticeable damage to the gold price.

Bulls remain in control as long as XAU/USD manages to stay above $1877. The next bull target is $1966, after which the precious metal might extend its rally towards $2000 and ultimately $2071.

The information is not to be construed as a recommendation; or an offer to buy or sell; or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any security, financial product, or instrument; or to participate in any trading strategy. Readers should seek their own advice. Reproduction or redistribution of this information is not permitted.


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