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Investors appeared to be biting their nails while waiting for U.S. tax reform updates, yet the Aussie managed to pocket some gains thanks to lower joblessness.

  • Nov MI inflation expectations sank from 4.3% to 3.7% in Australia
  • Australian employment change up 3.7K vs. 17.8K forecast in Oct
  • Australian Sept employment change upgraded from 19.8K to 26.6K
  • Australia’s jobless rate fell from 5.5% to 5.4%

Major Events/Reports:

Mixed AU jobs data

For the month of October, the Australian economy added 3.7K jobs versus the estimated 17.8K increase.

But before you chalk this up as a completely disappointing report, note that the previous month’s reading also enjoyed an upgrade from 19.8K to 26.6K. Apart from that, the unemployment rate fell from 5.5% to 5.4% – its lowest level in more than four years.

Besides, the pickup in hiring marks the thirteenth consecutive monthly gain, buoyed by a 24.3K jump in full-time hiring but nearly overshadowed by a 20.7K drop in part-time employment.

Components of the report revealed that most of these positions came from the healthcare sector spurred by government expansion in support for child care and carers. Construction jobs also ticked higher on rising public spending for infrastructure.

Risk appetite returning?

Despite the unease surrounding the anticipated Congress vote on their version of the tax bill, Asian equity indices ticked slightly higher.

  • Nikkei is up 326.18 points to 22,352.50 (+1.47%)
  • Australia’s ASX is up 9.27 points to 5,943.50 (+0.16%)
  • DJ New Zealand is up 1.05 points to 246.60 (+0.43%)

Some analysts attribute this to bargain-hunting after most Asian equities have been on a losing streak this week while others believe that this could be due to revived hopes for tax reform.

Futures are pointing to a mixed open for London:

  • French CAC 40 futures are down to 5,292.5 (-0.43%)
  • German DAX futures are up to 13,007.5 (+0.38%)
  • Euro Stoxx 50 futures are down 12 points (-0.34%)
  • FTSE 100 futures are up 15.5 points (+0.21%)

Major Market Mover(s):

AUD

The Aussie tried to shrug off weak wage figures from the previous day and focus on the positive momentum in the labor market. Lower inflation expectations, however, kept gains limited.

AUD/USD is up to .7592 (+0.05%), AUD/NZD is up 29 pips to 1.1068 (+0.26%), AUD/JPY climbed to a high of 85.95 (+0.18%), and AUD/CHF rose to .7514 (+0.17%)

Watch Out For:

  • 9:30 am GMT: U.K. retail sales (0.1% rebound expected from previous 0.8% dip)
  • 10:00 am GMT: Euro zone final headline CPI (no revision from initial 1.4% estimate eyed)
  • 10:00 am GMT: Euro zone final core CPI (no revision from initial 0.9% estimate eyed)