By Lorcan Roche Kelly and Sid Verma
Employers are forecast to have added 183,000 positions in November, keeping the unemployment rate at 3.6% with annual wage growth remaining at 3.0%. The data will be published at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. The continued good health of the labor market should be good news for the Federal Reserve by validating the view that rates can stay on hold, while also aiding President Donald Trump by reducing the urgency to strike a deal with China.
There have been signs of some progress in reaching a phase-one trade agreement between the U.S. and China in recent days, with negotiators in Washington saying they are confident of reaching a deal ahead of the Dec. 15 deadline for fresh tariffs. The latest development is China’s announcement that it is in the process of waiving retaliatory tariffs on some agricultural imports from the U.S., seen as a sign that a broader pact may be on the horizon. Data released yesterday showed that trade in goods between the two nations continues to slide as negotiations drag on.
Saudi energy minister Saudi Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman promised that “beautiful news” would be revealed at the OPEC+ meeting in Vienna today. Yesterday ministers reached a deal in principle to deepen production cuts by 500,000 barrel a day, a move seen as largely symbolic as it only formalizes the target to be in line with recent production levels. Oil traders are sitting in their hands so far this morning after a choppy session yesterday, with the price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate for January delivery little changed.
Optimism about today’s payrolls number and continued signs of (slow) progress on trade is keeping global equities in the green. Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.4% while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.1% higher. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.4% higher at 5:45 a.m. with almost all industry sectors advancing. S&P 500 futures pointed to a gain at the open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 1.795% and gold was flat.
It is also jobs day in Canada, with the economy expected to show an added 10,000 positions in November when the data is released at 8:30 a.m. October wholesale inventories and December University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment are both published at 10:00 a.m. The Baker Hughes U.S. rig count is at 1:00 p.m. Big Lots Inc. and Genesco Inc. are among the companies reporting today.