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  • The UK wages excluding bonuses rose by 3.2% YoY vs. +3.3% expected.
  • The UK wages including bonuses rose by 2.9% YoY vs. +3.0% expected.
  • The UK unemployment rate steadies at 3.8% in December.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed on Tuesday, the UK’s average weekly Earnings, excluding bonuses, arrived at 3.2% 3Mo YoY in December versus 3.4% last and 3.3% expected while the gauge including bonuses came in at 2.9% 3Mo YoY in December versus 3.2% previous and 3.0% expected.

The Kingdom’s official jobless rate steadied at 3.8% in Dec, while the claimant count change showed a much smaller-than-expected increase.

The number of people claiming jobless benefits rose by 5.5K in January, against expectations +22.6K and +2.6K (revised up from +14.9K) seen previously. The claimant count rate remained unchanged at 3.4% vs. 3.4% previous.

About UK jobs

The UK Average Earnings released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) is a key short-term indicator of how levels of pay are changing within the UK economy. Generally speaking, the positive earnings growth anticipates positive (or bullish) for the GBP, whereas a low reading is seen as negative (or bearish).

FX Implications

GBP/USD met fresh supply and moved a few pips below the 1.30 handle on disappointing UK wage growth numbers. The further recovery attempts, however, look unlikely amid risk-aversion led broad-based US dollar strength and increased Hard Brexit fears.

At the press time, the cable is back around the 1.3000 level, modestly flat on the day.

GBP/USD Levels to watch