Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Forex - Sterling dips as U.K. wage growth slows - - The pound edged lower against the dollar on Wednesday after the latest U.K. jobs report showed that wage growth slowed in the last three months of 2015, underlining expectations that interest rates will remain on hold for longer.

GBP/USD slid from around 1.4289 ahead of the data to an intra-day low of 1.4265.

The Office for National Statistics said the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.1% in the three months to December, matching the three months to November which was the lowest since mid-2005.

Economists had expected the jobless rate to tick down to 5.0%.

Annual wage growth, including bonuses, rose 1.9% in the three months to December, matching forecasts, but slowing from 2.1% in the three months to November.

Excluding bonuses, wages rose by 2.0%, above expectations for 1.8% after a 1.9% increase in the three months to November.

The number of people claiming unemployment benefits fell by 14,800 in January to 760,200, the ONS said, the lowest level since 1975.

With wage pressures remaining subdued and headline inflation projected to remain below 1.0% for the rest of the year the Bank of England is likely to keep interest rates on hold at record lows for some time to come.

Sterling was higher against the slightly weaker euro, with EU/GBP easing to 0.7770.

The euro was also weaker against the dollar, with EUR/USD dipping to 1.1130.

The dollar was steady against a basket of the other major currencies as investors looked ahead to the minutes of the Federal Reserve's January meeting later in the day, for indications on the prospect of further interest rate increases.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was last at 96.93.

Market sentiment remained supported as oil prices and stocks steadied ahead of talks between oil major producers on a possible output freeze to reduce a massive global supply glut.[1] offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.
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