Pound US dollar exchange rate: GBP/USD steady, UK employment eases in September

The report added to concerns about a slowdown in hiring due to the ongoing political and economic uncertainty around Brexit. James Smith, a Developed Markets Economist at ING, was downbeat in his assessment, saying: “[W]ith forward-looking hiring indicators deteriorating, and given the risk that Brexit uncertainty persists into 2020, there’s a clear risk the jobs market deteriorates further over coming months.”

While September’s UK ILO Unemployment Rate figure eased, this was not enough to boost market confidence in the UK’s flagging jobs sector. 

Today also saw the release of the UK’s average weekly earnings figure. Wage growth came in below forecasts, easing from 3.7 per cent to 3.6 per cent on the year.

However, the pound to US dollar exchange rate was largely unmoved as UK political developments remained in focus.  

After spiking yesterday on the news that the Brexit Party won’t contest Tory seats in the upcoming election, Sterling has moderated on speculation about how much impact the move will actually have.  

Chris Curtis, YouGov’s Political Research Manager, said: “[Brexit Party leader Nigel] Farage’s decision to stand aside in current Conservative-held seats and not in Labour-held seats that the Tories will be looking to gain will likely make very little difference.”

The US dollar has also been feeling the pressure today due to ongoing uncertainty around US-China trade talks, after US President Donald Trump failed to rule out adding more tariffs on Chinese goods next month. 

In US economic data, today saw the US NFIB Small Business Optimism figure for October improve from 101.8 to 102.4, with American businesses showing signs of shrugging off trade anxieties. 

We could see the GBP/USD exchange rate edge higher if Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is downbeat about the US economy in his speech before the US Joint Economic Committee tomorrow. 


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