British Pound Climbs Against US Dollar on Positive UK Jobs Data

The British pound moved higher against the US dollar on Wednesday as fresh employment numbers in the United Kingdom appeared positive. However, the British currency’s gains were limited as traders braced for a monetary policy decision from the US Federal Reserve.

The UK Office for National Statistics published its earnings and working hours report earlier today, which said that the average weekly earnings growth rate reached 2.5% in October, from 2.4% in September. This marks the biggest gain since September 2015.

The office also released its report for the nation’s labor market for the quarter starting August and ending October. The report revealed that the employment number remained unchanged from the previous quarter at 31.76 million people. This is an increase by 342,000 more people from a year earlier.

Meanwhile, the unemployment number slightly decreased by 16,000 to 1.62 million people in the quarter ending October from the quarter ending July. The unemployment rate decreased to 4.8% from 5.2% a year earlier.

All eyes are now on the highly anticipated monetary policy decision from the US Federal Reserve. The central bank’s Federal Open Market Committee will release its statement at 19:00 GMT today after holding a meeting that lasted for two days.

The statement is widely expected to bring a 0.25% increase for US interest rates, according to data collected by the CME Group FedWatch tool, which tracks futures prices that investors use to take bets on future interest rates. A decision to raise interest rates today would be the only one from the Federal Reserve in 2016.

GBP/USD traded at 1.2683 as of 18:31 GMT on Wednesday, after rising to 1.2715 at 16:56 GMT, the pair’s highest level for the day. GBP/USD opened trading today at 1.2665.

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