Ok so after talking up US data releases over recent weeks the big one namely the May jobs report, came as a disappointment. To recap, payrolls rose 431k, which was less than market consensus. Hiring due to the census which by its nature will be transitory was however, in line with expectations, at 411k, leaving ex-census hiring at a measly +20k.
Believe it or not, the trend in payrolls is one of improvement but the May outcome came as a blow to a market with bullish expectations, especially following earlier comments from the US administration hinting at a robust outcome. The disappointment was compounded by talk of a +700k payrolls outcome, which proved widely off the mark. The unemployment rate did drop more than expected, by two ticks to 9.7%, but this was due to disaffected workers dropping out of the labor force rather than an inherent pick up in job conditions.
Combined with worries about a new target in the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, this time Hungary, markets quickly tanked and risk aversion jumped. So much for relative stability! The concerns were sparked by Hungarian officials themselves, with a spokesman for the Prime Minister warning about the fiscal mess inherited from the previous government. The real blow came when the spokesman compared Hungary to Greece and reportedly said that talk of a default was “not an exaggeration”.
Suffice to say, markets are set up for tense and nervous week in which risk trades are set to suffer further. EUR/USD once again proved to be the weak link dropping below the psychologically important level of 1.20 and the EUR introduction rate around 1.1830 has moved sharply into focus.