The US dollar breaks two-day fall

The rise started on Trump’s tweet he was "looking forward” to the jobs report
Chief Investment Office04 Jun 2018
Photo credit: AFP Photo

There is a reason presidents and policymakers carefully avoid saying a single word about important economic numbers before they are officially released. Traders react to even the slightest hint, moving markets and causing turmoil on incomplete information. That was what happened with the dollar on Friday (1 June) morning when US President Donald Trump tweeted a big hint about the monthly employment numbers, one of the most closely watched pieces of government data.

"Looking forward to seeing the employment numbers at 8:30 this morning," he wrote at 7:21 am in Washington.

To many traders it was clear that Trump was signalling the numbers would be good. There was a noticeable reaction in some markets, with the dollar climbing in the wake of the tweet as benchmark Treasury yields extended their advance to new highs for the day.

And indeed, when the official numbers were released about an hour later, they were very good: With the addition of a higher-than-expected 223,000 jobs in May, unemployment dropped to match its lowest level since 1969. Trump was not guessing. He received a phone call Thursday (31 May) night aboard Air Force One from his top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, informing him of the good numbers.

The president’s suggestion may have run afoul of a federal rule that says executive-branch employees with early access to the data should make sure there is no release of the information ahead of the designated time. But the same rule also says that employees should not comment publicly on the data until at least an hour after release – a regulation Trump has routinely flouted on social media. White House officials have argued that it makes no sense to prohibit the president from discussing publicly available information being reported on in the press.

Kudlow defended the president’s tweet across a series of subsequent media appearances Friday morning, arguing Trump did not give anything away and that his remarks were open to interpretation. – Bloomberg News.

The US dollar ended a two-session decline on Friday (1 June) with the US Dollar Index (DXY) rising 0.19% to 94.16. Still, it finished the week (ended 1 June) 0.10% lower.

The euro fell 0.29% to USD1.1659. The British pound rose 0.36% to USD1.3346. The Japanese yen dropped 0.66% to 109.54 per dollar.

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