— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on January 13, Monday.
Hello and welcome to the CNBC Business Daily. I'm Li Sixuan at the Singapore Exchange.The surprising weak Non-Farm Payrolls data barely left an impression.
US markets were little changed changed on Friday and futures only pointed to a marginally weaker open. CNBC's Hampton Pearson goes behind the numbers and filed this report:
So it turns out December 2013 was the weakest month of hiring in three years. After averaging 240,00 jobs per month from August to November, the US economy generated just 74,000 jobs in December. Even the drop of the unemployment rate to 6.7 percent had a dark cloud. Most of the decrease was due to people giving up looking for work and dropping out of the labor force altogether.
Once people stop looking for work, the government no longer counts them as unemployed. It was also the reason the labour force participation rate fell to just 62.8 percent – a 36-year low. Baby boomer demographics are another reason why the workforce continues to shrink.
According to a recent MetLife survey, the average retirement age is now just under 60, with about 25 percent of the oldest boomers retiring early because of the sluggish job market.
Now, many economists caution that one month's bad jobs report does not mean the economy is getting weaker. The question on both Wall Street and Main Street: "What will the Federal Reserve do with this latest curve ball from the economy?" I'm Hampton Pearson in Washington. Back to you.
Asian markets also largely shrugging off the US jobs numbers, with many analysts seeing it as just a temporary setback. Let's listen in to some of their views:
[Soundbyte on tape by Steve Blitz, Chief Economist, ITG Investment Research] It's not as bad as it looks, but it's not great either. It probably puts us back into sort of a 150 – 160 type of an average payroll increase, which is less than we saw in the last few months. And it should temper a bit of the enthusiasm that had been building that this economy was about to launch into some sort of breakneck speed.
[Soundbyte on tape by Jonathan Cavenagh, Senior FX Strategist, Institutional FX Sales, Asia Westpac] Right here, right now, we would argue against going long the dollar. Things like AUD/USD have further upside while USD/JPY definitely has further downside. 104421 JPY and AUD has seen the most extreme short positioning – those trades did v well in 2013, so we'd expect to see further unwinding of shorts in both currencies. Aussie up to 91.5-92 cent and dollar/ yen back to 101-102 range.
[Soundbyte on tape by Mike Harrowell, Senior Resource Analyst at BBY] If it's gone up on the back of that payroll number, I'd look for it to reverse in the next month. That's a terrible number on which to base any investment in commodities or anything else. It's more likely to be easing off from this point.
All eyes now on the Federal Reserve and what it might do at the end-January policy review. Analysts say US recovery trend remains largely intact and that might enocurage the Fed to trim its bond buying scheme by another $10 billion.
I'm Li Sixuan, thanks for watching the CNBC Business Daily.
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