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Forex News: Pound Slides As U.K. Jobless Rate Rises

Pound Slides As U.K. Jobless Rate Rises

03/17/2020 - 07:42:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The pound moved down against its major rivals in the European session on Tuesday, as the UK unemployment rate increased at the start of the year before coronavirus crisis took hold.

Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that the jobless rate gained 0.2 percentage points from the preceding quarter to 3.9 percent. The rate was largely unchanged from a year earlier. This was above the forecast of 3.8 percent.

During November to January, nearly 1.34 million people were unemployed. This was 5,000 more than a year earlier but 515,000 fewer than five years earlier.

At the same time, the employment rate rose 0.3 percentage points from the previous quarter to a joint record high of 76.5 percent.

Average weekly earnings including bonus and excluding bonus grew 3.1 percent each on a yearly basis.

In February, the claimant count rose marginally to a seasonally adjusted 3.5 percent from 3.4 percent in January. The number of people claiming unemployment benefits increased 17,300 from the previous month.

The pound fell the most since September 2019 against the greenback, at 1.2146. If the pound falls further, it is likely to test support around the 1.20 region.

The pound edged down to 129.43 against the yen, from a high of 131.22 seen at 9:30 pm ET. The next possible support for the pound is seen around the 127.00 level.

Data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry showed that Japan industrial production rose in January.

Industrial production rose a seasonally adjusted 1.0 percent month-on-month in January. Economists had expected a growth of 0.8 percent.

The pound pulled back to 1.1575 against the franc, from a high of 1.1650 hit at 4:45 am ET. The pound may find downside target around the 1.14 mark.

The pound eased off to 0.9131 against the euro, reversing from a high of 0.9087 it logged at 4:45 am ET. The pound is poised to challenge support around the 0.93 mark.

Looking ahead, U.S. business inventories data for January, retail sales and industrial production for February and NAHB housing market index for March are scheduled for release in the New York session.

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