The Pound Sterling edged higher against the US Dollar after the latest labor data out of the UK helped improve sentiment for Cable. According to the Office of National Statistics, overall pay to workers for the three-month period through January was recorded at 2.8%, the fastest pace in 2½ years. Analysts had forecasted a slight rise to 2.6%; moreover, the previous figures were adjusted higher to 2.7% from 2.5%. In the same period, the numbers of employed unexpectedly grew to 168,000 against analysts’ expectations of a rise of only 64,000. The ILO unemployment rate also dipped to 4.3%, an unexpected decline from the 4.4%.
As reported at 11:35 am (GMT) in London, the GBP/USD was trading at $1.4065, up 0.46%; the pair earlier hit a peak of $1.4076 while the session low is at $1.3999. The EUR/GBP is trading at 0.87351 Pence, down 0.15349%; the pair has ranged from a session trough of 0.87234 Pence to a peak of 0.87585 Pence.
RBNZ Decision Looms
While the US Federal Reserve policy decision later today will undoubtedly be the focus of markets’ attention, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand will also be making a policy decision today. Analysts and economists polled are predicting that the RBNZ will hold its benchmark rate at the current 1.75%. The RBNZ’s acting governor, Grant Spencer, will be relinquishing control effective March 27, 2018, to be replaced by Adrian Orr, who market players have said has a more hawkish stance than his predecessors. The NZD/USD pair is trading at $0.7169, down 0.1004%; the pair has ranged from $0.71616 to $0.71881 in this trading session.