GBP/USD is trading quietly for a second straight day. In the North European session, GBP/USD is trading at 1.1035, down 0.18%.
The pound has not posted a winning day since October 12th and has lost 400 points during that time. GBP/USD dropped below the symbolic 1.10 line earlier today, and a break below 1.10 will likely increase talk of the pound following the euro and dropping to parity with the dollar.
UK labour market remains robust
The UK labour market is one of the few bright spots in the economy, and today’s employment report reaffirmed that the job market remains tight. Unemployment in the three months to August dipped to 3.5%, down from 3.6%, while average earnings jumped to 6.0%, up from 5.5% and ahead of the consensus of 5.9%. These rosy numbers are dampened by an inflation rate of 9.9%, which has badly hurt real UK incomes.
The strong job market bolsters the likelihood of the Bank of England will deliver some tough medicine at its November meeting, perhaps a super-size rate hike of 1.0%. The BoE was forced to intervene on an emergency basis after the mini-budget almost caused a bond market crash, and investors have circled October 14th, which is the expiry date of the BoE’s gilt-buying intervention. There are concerns that if the BoE does not renew its bond-buying, the result could be another exodus from UK government bonds. On Wednesday, the UK releases GDP for August, which is expected at 0% MoM, down from 0.2% in July.
In the US, inflation will be in focus this week, with PPI data on Wednesday and CPI a day later. Headline inflation is expected to fall to 8.1% in September, down from 8.3% in August, but core CPI is expected to rise to 6.5%, up from 6.3%. Unless inflation surprises sharply to the downside, the release will not cause the Fed to rethink its hawkish policy.
- GBP/USD faces resistance at 1.1085 and 1.1214
- There is resistance at 1.0935 and 1.0776
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