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Nonfarm Payrolls Mark the Start of 2018 Print E-mail
ONG Focus | Insights | Written by Oil N' Gold | Tue Jan 02 18 00:01 ET

Happy New Year! We have a busy start a number of important data are due to be released throughout the week. In the US, the FOMC minutes for the December meeting would be due Wednesday. Policymakers would unveiled the rationale for raising the Fed funds rates by +25 bps at the meeting, as well as the monetary policy outlook for the coming year. As the median dot plot shows, the Fed would also increase interest rates by 3 times this year. December's ISM manufacturing index would be released on the same day. Thursday comes a number of job data, culminating to Friday's non-farm payrolls. The ADP report probably shows a +190K gain in employment in December, same increase as the previous month. Challenger would release its estimate of job reduction for December. Initial jobless claims probably dropped to 244K in the week ended December 30, from 245K a month ago. Nonfarm payrolls might have increased +189K in December, down from 228K in November. The unemployment rate probably stayed unchanged at 4.1% for the month. Average hourly earnings might have gained +0.3% m/m, after growing +0.2% in November.

PMI data for various economies would also be released. First comes China, of which the Caixin/ Markit PMI manufacturing index climbed +0.7 point to 51.5 in December, beating consensus of 50.7. The final readings for the Eurozone, Germany, France and Italy would be due today. The corresponding indicators for the services sector would be released on Thursday.

Commitments of Traders

With the exception of natural gas, speculators were bullish over the energy complex in the week ended December 26. Net LENGTH for crude oil futures jumped +30 322 contracts from a week ago to 632 161. NET LENGTH of heating oil increased +5 748 contracts to 57 623 while net LENGTH for gasoline added +3 481 contracts to 82 904. Net SHORT for natural gas gained +459 contracts to 170 035 for the week.

Speculators were bullish over the precious metal complex last week. Net LENGTH for gold soared +22 153 contracts to 135 948, while that for silver futures gained +2 179 contracts to 4 648. For PGMs, net LENGTH for platinum rose +3 473 contracts to 16 313 while that for palladium gained +1 035 contracts to 25 498.


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