The ASX 200 continues to consolidate in a narrow line between 5650 and 5800. Declining Twiggs Money Flow warns of selling pressure and breach of support at 5650 would signal a primary down-trend. Follow-through below 5600 would confirm. Breakout above 5800 is unlikely but would test resistance at 6000.
Monthly hours worked are up 1.9% over the last 12 months. Marginally below real GDP but not something to be concerned about unless growth continues to fall.
Iron ore continues its extended bear market rally, suggesting that the next correction is likely to find support above the primary level at 53.
ASX 300 Metals & Mining is also likely to find support above 2750. Respect of support at 3000 would signal a strong up-trend.
The ASX 300 Banks index continues to warn of selling pressure, with declining Twiggs Trend Index and Money Flow below zero. Breach of support at 8500 would signal another test of primary support at 8000.
ABS June figures reflect solid gains for the labor market. Justin Smirk at Westpac writes:
“….The annual pace of employment growth has lifted from 0.9%yr in February to 2.0%yr in May and it held that pace in June. In the year to Feb there was a 106.9k gain in employment; in the year to June this has lifted to 240.2k. The Australian labour market went through a soft patch in 2016 that was particularly pronounced through August to November when the average gain in employment per month was a paltry 2.2k. We have clearly bounced out of this soft patch and now holding a firmer trend.”
My favorite measure, monthly hours worked, jumped (year-on-year) by 3.1%.
Infrastructure spending, particularly in NSW and Victoria, is doing its best to offset weakness in other areas.
Wage rate growth remains subdued, indicating little pressure on the RBA to lift rates.
The May 2017 ABS Labour Force Survey surprised to the upside, with employment increasing by 42,000 over the previous month (full-time jobs even better at +52,100). These are seasonally adjusted figures and the trend estimates are more modest at 25200 jobs.
Seasonally adjusted hours worked also jumped, reflecting an annual increase of 2.3%.
The Australian Dollar surged as a result of the impressive numbers but Credit Suisse warns that there may be some issues with the latest strong NSW estimates:
By state, the gains in full-time employment were particularly strong in NSW…..
But beware the sample rotation bias ….the ABS has confessed that for the sixth time in seven months, it has rotated the sample in favour of higher employment-to-population cohorts. Officials report that this has had a material impact on the NSW employment outcomes.
If the numbers are correct, there are only two areas that could account for the job growth: apartment construction and infrastructure. The former is unlikely to last and the latter, while an important part of the recovery process, are also not a permanent increase.
I would prefer to wait for confirmation before adjusting my position based on a single set of numbers.
One swallow does not make a spring, nor does one day.