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26-Jun-17
23:24
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Euro fire sale setting up a buy

A euro rebound may not just be driven by European factors; U.S. data points, influencing the dollar side of the trade, may also point to a near-term reversal in its strengthening trend.

Friday’s payrolls report showed 252,000 jobs were created in December, and the unemployment rate fell further to 5.6 percent, a new post-financial crisis low. The report reaffirmed an improving labor market and capped off the best year for U.S. job creation since the late 1990s.

However, many strategists, economists and traders weren’t impressed, because wages declined for the month by 5 cents an hour, the biggest monthly decrease since 2006, offsetting nearly all of November’s wage increase. The Federal Reserve has made it clear it is focused on wages as a sign of slack in the markets and a justification for ultra-easy policy of zero interest rates.

In fact, during an interview immediately after the report, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee this year, told CNBC, “If we are going to get inflation up to our 2 percent objective … we are going to have to see wages increase more.” Evans said he felt the Fed should wait until 2016 to raise interest rates.

Read MoreThe Fed wasn’t very impressed with jobs numbers

The longer the central bank holds off on raising interest rates, the more bearish it is for the dollar, as the currency had been strengthening on signs the Fed would be forced to raise interest rates on the back of a better economy and labor market.

“The market’s confidence that the Fed’s liftoff will take place near midyear has been shaken,” wrote Brown Brothers Harriman’s chief currency strategist, Marc Chandler, after Friday’s jobs report.

Furthermore, this week, “softer retail sales and inflation gauges will likely favor the doves and weigh on the dollar,” Chandler said.

Add it all up, and the stage could be set for a euro-dollar rebound.

To be sure, forecasters say this is a temporary trade. In the more medium and longer term, a stronger dollar is likely to re-emerge, with the European economy in significantly worse shape than that of the U.S.

But for now, that trade appears a bit overdone. And those key event risks—including an existential threat to the euro itself—have the potential to trigger some euro buying in the near term.

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