- US Dollar Index looks to close slightly below 97.50.
- Fed’s Evans says he is comfortable with current stance of policy.
- Coming up: Total Filled Jobs data from New Zealand.
The broad-based USD strength on Thursday weighed on the NZD/USD pair and dragged it to its lowest level in more than two weeks at 0.6600. With the trading action turning subdued in the late American session, the pair recovered a small part of its daily losses and was last seen trading at 0.6612, down 0.5% on a daily basis.
The US Dollar Index, which gained traction on the back of surging US Treasury bond yields on Wednesday, continued to push higher on Thursday and is looking to close the day in the positive territory a little below 97.50.
USD stays strong ahead of NFP
The only data from the US revealed that Initial Jobless Claims fell to 214,000 in the week ending January 3rd from 223,000 to provide an additional boost to the greenback. Moreover, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said that he was “pretty comfortable” with the current stance of the monetary policy and added that he was expecting inflation to rise toward their target level of 2% in 2020.
On Friday, Statistics New Zealand will publish the Total Jobs Filled data. In the second half of the day, markets will be watching the US Nonfarm Payroll report closely. Previewing the NFP data, “through the volatility, the trend has slowed from 200K-plus in 2018, but not dramatically,” said TD Securities analysts. “As noted, our 145K forecast for payrolls implies a 189K average for Q4 (assuming no revisions), which is above the 173K average for the first nine months of the year. The implication: The December reading could be even weaker without necessarily signaling a major slowing in the trend.”
Technical levels to consider