• Gold down $1 to $1819
  • WTI crude oil down $1.78 to $82.44
  • US 10-year yields down 2.1 bps to 4.71%
  • S&P 500 down 5 points to 4258
  • NZD leads, USD lags

US trade balance and initial jobless claims data points were both stronger than expected and that cause some modest US dollar buying along with some stronger selling in bonds. But those moves didn't last long as bond buyers returned and the dollar started into a prolonged slump through North American trading that looked like position squaring ahead of non-farm payrolls.

USD/JPY rose a dozen pips to a session high of 149.12 after the data but slowly fell to 148.40 afterwards. Risk trades slowly improved at the same time, though stocks finished lower.

Oil fed back into the market as it bounced up and down in a $2 range. It was lower in Europe but briefly bounced back into positive territory before giving it all back later. That added to cooling inflation pressure and the market is now priced for three full FOMC cuts next year as inflation pressures wane.

The euro took advantage of USD softness as it rose for the second day, hitting 1.0551 at the highs and trading just below that now.

Even stronger were the beaten-up antipodeans. AUD/USD had climbed in Asia before giving it all back. It got a second wind in North American but couldn't quite achieve the earlier highs. It had broken down to the lowest since March on Tuesday but is having second thoughts ahead of the jobs report. If NFP is strong though, watch out for fresh selling.