Sterling jumps to five-month peak after U.K. jobs data

Sterling jumps to five-month peak after U.K. jobs data

13 May 2015, 11:29

On Wednesday sterling climbed to fresh five-month highs against the U.S. dollar, after data indicated that U.K. unemployment rate dropped to a six-and-a-half year low in April.

Sentiment for the greenback remained fragile.

GBP/USD hit 1.5742 during European morning trade, the pair's highest since December 17; the pair subsequently consolidated at 1.5725, gaining 0.37%. Cable was likely to find support at 1.5554, Tuesday's low and resistance 1.5786, the high of December 16.

The U.K. Office for National Statistics said in a report that the unemployment rate ticked down to 5.5% last month from 5.6% in March, hitting the lowest level since September 2008, in line with expectations.

The U.K. claimant count change dropped by 12,600 in April, confounding expectations for a 20,000 decline. March's figure was revised to a 16,700 fall from a previously estimated drop of 20,700.

Data also indicated that U.K. average earnings excluding bonuses rose 2.2% in March, exceeding expectations for a 2.1% increase, after an upwardly revised 1.9% gain the previous month.

Sterling was also higher against the euro, with EUR/GBP shedding 0.22% to 0.7139.

Earlier today, data showed that the French economy grew 0.6% in the first quarter, the fastest rate of growth in two years.

Later in the day markets await U.S. data on retail sales which could add to the recent batch of downbeat reports.

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