The February employment situation report recorded more job creation than forecast, 175,00 vs. 150,00 and added a modest 25,000 to the prior two months' total. Slightly more people began looking for work, pushing the unemployment rate up 0.1 percent to 6.7 percent but the labor force participation rate was unchanged at 63.0 percent, close to its historic low. Average hours worked dropped, probably weather-related and wages rose slightly.
The three month moving average for payrolls of 129,000 in February has fallen from 151,000 in January, 175,000 in December and 185,000 in November.
All in all it was a status-quo report, with little evidence of a new weaker and dollar negative trend and showing nothing that might dissuade the Fed from continuning its reduction in quantitative easing at the FOMC meeting on the 19th of this month.
The euro whcih had previously in the European session reached a new two and a half year high at 13917 fell about 50 points on the release, attributed by traders to profit takeing on the steep gains of the past few days but leaving the underlying stronger euro trend intact.
Chief Market Strategist