Sterling boosted by jobs report

The pound is higher versus the US dollar after the UK unemployment claimant count fell.

The pound is trading at $1.6638, up 0.25%, after the UK revealed a strong set of unemployment figures. Even though the headline rate remained unchanged at 7.2%, the jobless claimant count declined by 34,000. A decline in unemployment benefits does not necessarily equate to job creation, but it is a step in the right direction.

Since the start of the week the pound has been trading within the $1.6654-$1.6551 range, trading towards the top end of that range following the jobs data release. It is likely that traders will now wait for the Federal Reserve to make its announcement at 6pm (London time).

The consensus is for interest rates to remain unchanged, and for the bond-buying scheme to be trimmed by $10 billion. If we see a reduction in quantitative easing greater than $10 billion, we could see the pound drift towards the recent low of $1.6551.

Spot FX GBP/USD chart

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