Forex: GBP/USD hits 10-day high in European trading

on Jul 17, 2013
Listen Wednesday July 17th:_ Sterling has firmed against the US dollar following the release of the minutes of the Bank of England’s most recent policy meeting, with the pair rising to a 10-day high at 1.5244.

At the first meeting chaired by new governor Mark Carney, the Monetary Policy Committee voted 9-0 to leave interest rates at 0.5 percent and the £375 billion fiscal asset purchase commitment unchanged, with no addition to quantitative easing.
The staunchest two QE advocates on the committee, Paul Fisher and David Miles, altered their stance after having voted for an additional £25 billion of bond-buying at recent meetings.

The minutes disclosed that, whilst an expansion of fiscal asset buying remained an option for injecting stimulus, the MPC intended to assess other measures over the ensuing month, mandating no change in existing policy for the time being.
In other news, the International Labour Organisation’s report on UK unemployment for the three months from December 2012 to February 2013 was released today by the UK’s Office for National Statistics. Unemployment fell by 57,000 to 2.51 million during the period. And in the three months to May this year, the unemployment rate remained steady at 7.8 percent, in line with analysts’ expectations.

The jobless number is now 72,000 lower than a year ago, which Employment Minister Mark Hoban described as “encouraging” when commenting on the news. He added: “The fall in the number of people claiming out-of-work benefits, together with the news that there are currently over half a million vacancies available in the UK economy, show that there are opportunities out there for those who are prepared to work hard, and who aspire to get on in life.”