Pound Advances Amid Re-opening Optimism, Improved U.K. Wage Growth
The pound appreciated against its major counterparts in the
European session on Tuesday, as U.K. wage growth improved in
December and Prime Minister Boris Johnson's four-step reopening
plan raised hopes of a return to normalcy.
Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that U.K.
average earnings including bonuses rose 4.7 percent in three months
to December, which was well above the expected rate of 4.1
Excluding bonus, average earnings grew 4.1 percent versus the
forecast of 4 percent.
Claimant count also decreased by 20,000 in January from the
Nonetheless, the jobless rate came in at 5.1 percent in three
months to December, which was 0.4 percentage points higher than the
previous quarter. The rate matched economists' expectations.
The employment rate dropped 0.3 percentage points from the prior
quarter to 75.0 percent.
On Monday, Boris Johnson outlined a roadmap to take England out
of its Covid-19 lockdown.
The plan allows schools to reopen on March 8 and functioning of
non-essential shops and hospitality for outdoor service from April
Under the four-step plan, all restrictions will be removed by
The pound spiked higher to near a 1-year high of 0.8630 against
the euro and near a 3-year high of 1.4098 against the greenback,
after falling to 0.8654 and 1.4056, respectively in early deals. If
the pound continues its rise, 0.85 and 1.45 are possibly seen as
its next resistance levels against the euro and the greenback,
The pound reversed from an early low of 147.64 against the yen,
with the pair trading at 148.20. The pound is likely to find
resistance around the 153.00 level.
The pound climbed to a 1-year high of 1.2666 against the franc,
after having fallen to 1.2586 at 5:00 pm ET. The pound is seen
finding resistance around the 1.30 level.
Looking ahead, Eurozone CPI for January will be featured in the
U.S. consumer confidence index for February, FHFA's house price
index and S&P/Case-Shiller home price index for December are
due out in the New York session.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is due to testify on the
Semiannual Monetary Policy Report before the Senate Banking
Committee, via satellite at 10:00 am ET.