Gold remains defensive, edging to a new 7-week low as the market seems inclined — at least initially — to shrug off the weak headline jobs data as hurricane distortion. The dollar index reached a 10-week high, modestly exceeding the August high at 94.15.
U.S. nonfarm payrolls fell 33k in September, well below expectations of +87k, versus a positive revised 169k in August (was +156k). July was revised down to 138k, from 189k previously.
While the hurricanes clearly affected the data in September, payrolls began trending lower earlier in the year, before the bad weather rolled in. This may in reality not be transitory at all. So the question now is, how will the Fed view the data? They will likely be encouraged by the beat in earnings.
There is FedSpeak from Kaplan, Bostic, Dudley and Bullard today, so we won’t have to wait long for the central bank’s initial spin. In fact, Dalls Fed hawk Kaplan has already indicated on CNBC that he’s “not there yet” with regard to a December hike, but is open minded.