Forex - Pound trims gains vs. dollar after U.K. jobs data


Shutterstock photo - - The pound trimmed gains against the dollar on Wednesday, easing back from session highs after data showed that the U.K. unemployment rate remained steady in the three months to January, while the claimant count fell.

GBP/USD was last up 0.19% to 1.6622, off highs of 1.6640 reached earlier in the session.

Cable was likely to find support at 1.6544, Tuesday's low and resistance at 1.6665.

The Office for National Statistics reported that rate of unemployment remained unchanged at 7.2% in the three months to January, in line with expectations.

The number of people claiming unemployment benefits fell by 34,600 last month, the ONS said, compared to expectations for a decline of 25,000. January's figure was revised to a drop of 33,900 people from a previously reported decline of 27,600.

The number of people in employment hit a new high of just under 30.2m, helped by a rise in self-employment, the report said.

The average earnings index rose 1.4% in January, the largest increase since mid-2013 and ahead of expectations for a 1.3% increase.

Last month the Bank of England updated its forward guidance on interest rates, after the unemployment rate fell more quickly than expected towards the 7% level it set as a threshold for considering rate hikes.

Separately, the minutes of the BoE's March meeting indicated that the economic recovery in the U.K. is broadening, but still has some way to go before it is sustainable. The minutes also noted differences between officials over how much slack there is in Britain's labor market.

The minutes showed that the monetary policy committee voted unanimously to keep interest rates at a record low 0.5% this month.

Investors remained cautious ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy announcement later in the trading day.

The U.S. central bank was widely expected to continue to roll back its bond purchasing program by $10 billion at the conclusion of its monthly meeting later Wednesday, the first with Janet Yellen at the helm. The Fed was also expected to confirm that recent softness in U.S. economic reports was due to severe winter weather.

Elsewhere, sterling rose to session highs against the euro, with EUR/GBP down 0.38% to 0.8366. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.
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This article appears in: Investing , Forex and Currencies

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