Investing.com - 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%
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
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
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
Elsewhere, sterling rose to session highs against the euro, with
EUR/GBP down 0.38% to 0.8366.
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