The all-important Claimant Count Change indicator, showing the change in the number of people claiming for unemployment benefits, unexpectedly dropped by 10,200 people. These good news pushed GBP/USD slightly higher, but another employment number weighed in the other direction.
The Claimant Count Change is for the month of February, which ended just now. This freshness makes it important. But on the other hand, the unemployment rate in Britain unexpectedly rose to 8% from 7.9% in recent months. While this rise is marginal and the data is for an earlier period, the rise back to the round number of 8% is somewhat painful.
GBP/USD now trades at 1.6100, after rising from 1.6080 before the release. These same ranges were seen earlier in the day, so these moves aren’t so major. 1.6110 serves as a very minor line of resistance.
Serious resistance is found only at the area of 1.6280 – 1.63. Significant support appears at 1.60 – this isn’t merely a round number. It worked in both directions in recent months and was quite distinctive.
For more technical lines and for more events on the week ahead, see the British Pound Forecast.
In recent weeks, cable is more affected by the words of Mervyn King than the economic indicators. So far, already 3 members of the ECB voted for a rate hike, but the governor of the BoE remains reluctant to act. We’ll see how this evolves.