***Economic data*** - (MA) Malaysia May Trade Balance (MYR) 8.1BB v 10.9Be; Exports Y/Y: 21.9% v 26.6%e; Imports Y/Y: 34.2% v 33.0%e - (US) Jun Change in Nonfarm Payrolls: -125K v -130Ke; Change in Private Payrolls: +83K v +110Ke; Change in Manufacturing. Payrolls: +9K v +25K - (US) Jun Unemployment Rate: 9.5% v 9.8%e - (US) Jun Avg Hourly Earning M/M: -0.1% v 0.1%e; Avg Weekly Hours: 34.1 v 34.2e - (US) May Factory Orders: -1.4% v -0.5%e
- Expectations were lowered but the jobs data still disappointed on several levels. Markets appear to be taking it in stride though, as consolidation appears to be the theme ahead of the long holiday weekend. The jobs numbers do not tell a positive story about the US economic recovery, although the general sense in markets is that it could have been worse. The headline loss 125K jobs was driven by elimination 225K temporary census jobs, although investors have been focusing more on the recently added private payrolls component, which saw 83K jobs added, which is an incremental improvement over May figures. Note that this marks six straight months of growth in private payrolls. The unemployment rate dropped noticeably to 9.5%, although this is being widely explained by the departure of a more discouraged workers from the labor pool. The average work week shortened and hourly earnings declined. The dollar weakened heading into the number and remains under substantial pressure. Front-month crude is holding steady after recent steep declines, around $72.50. Gold is also maintaining yesterday's closing levels sitting just above $1200. Traders are taking some profits in the Treasury market, but the yield curve remains dramatically lower and flatter on the week.
- Selected medical device makers are down sharply after first round of competitive bidding in new Medicare medical equipment program. Yesterday the government launched the first round of bidding in a new program that is expected to save the government more than $17B in Medicare spending over the next 10 years and will be used to determine the price that Medicare pays for medical equipment. Shares of SNN are down 6% and LNCR are down 10% as investors speculate the medical equipment firms could be big losers in the process. Pharmaceutical developers AGN, GENZ and BIIB rose 6-8% in early trading after reports made the rounds that Sanofi Aventis was in the initial stages of a major acquisition in the US that could be worth up to $20B. BIIB has come off somewhat after analysts asserted the firm was not the lucky candidate. Google has signed a deal to acquire airline reservation software firm ITA (for $700M). Google said the new property would allow it to create new flight search tools that enable users to find better flight information more easily on the Internet. Travel names OWW and EXPE are down on the news.
- The greenback maintained a soft tone ahead of the US payroll data, with EUR/USD testing the 1.2550 level and USD/JPY unable to move above the pivotal 88.00 level. The dollar encountered some late week softness as the US growth story hit turbulence following a string of weaker-than-expected data. The dollar continued its slide post payrolls data, with EUR/USD testing above the 1.26 handle.
***Looking Ahead*** - (RU) Russia Jun Official Reserve Assets: $459.0Be v $456.4B prior - (BE) Belgium May Unemployment Rate: No est v 8.2% prior
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