Investing.com - The pound remained lower against the U.S. dollar
on Thursday, after the release of mixed U.S. data, as the Federal
Reserve's decision to begin tapering its stimulus program next
month continued to support the greenback.
GBP/USD hit 1.6336 during U.S. morning trade, the session low; the
pair subsequently consolidated at 1.6347, shedding 0.26%.
Cable was likely to find support at 1.6350 and resistance at
The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said that its
manufacturing index improved to 7.0 this month from November's
reading of 6.5. Analysts had expected the index to rise to a
reading of 10.0 in December.
A separate report showed that U.S. existing home sales declined
4.3% to a seasonally adjusted 4.90 million units last month from
5.12 million in October. Analysts had expected U.S. existing home
sales to fall 1.5% to 5.03 million units in November.
The data came after the U.S. Department of Labor said the number of
individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending
December 14 increased by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 379,000,
the highest level since late-March.
Analysts had expected U.S. jobless claims to to 334,000 last week
from the previous week's revised total of 369,000.
On Wednesday, the Fed announced that it would reduce its USD85
billion-a-month bond buying program by USD10 billion in January.
Outgoing Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said the economy was continuing
to make progress.
The U.S. central bank reiterated that interest rates are likely to
remain low even after the unemployment rate drops below 6.5%, the
threshold at which the Fed has previously said it would start to
consider rate increases.
In the U.K., the Office for National Statistics earlier said retail
sales increased by 0.3% last month, matching forecasts. Retail
sales were 2% higher on a year-over-year basis, the ONS said,
undershooting expectations for a 2.3% gain, after rising at an
annual rate of 1.8% in October.
Demand for the pound remained supported after data on Wednesday
showed that the U.K. unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to a
four-and-a-half year low of 7.4% in the three months to October,
fuelling hopes that the Bank of England will raise interest rates
ahead of other central banks.
Sterling was steady against the euro, with EUR/GBP inching up 0.02%
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