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GBP/USD Exchange Rate Slips as UK Manufacturing Job Losses Jump

Last week’s high: $1.3344

Last week’s low:  $1.3055


US Dollar Rises as Brexit Optimism Overshadowed by Weak UK Manufacturing

The Pound US Dollar (GBP/USD) rallied at the start of last week as Sterling was buoyed by some Brexit optimism.

US President Donald Trump announced the US would be delaying further trade tariffs and planning a summit at Mar-a-Lago for himself and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping.

On Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the bank would take a ‘patient approach’, however his remarks did not seem to favour an interest rate hike or cut and the pairing continued to rise.

Brexit optimism took hold again on Tuesday as GBP hit a four-month high against the ‘Greenback’ as UK Prime Minister Theresa May promised MPs a vote to allow an extension of Article 50 if they reject her deal on 12th March.

The Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi ended abruptly despite it being expected that Trump and Kim Jong-un would be announcing progress on denuclearisation.

The pairing began to slip at the end of last week as annual US GDP rose to a higher-than-forecast 2.6%.

Data also showed that economic output rose by 3.1% during Q4 2018.

The pairing continued to slide on Friday following the release of the UK Markit Manufacturing PMI which slipped to 52.

The data also showed that the rate of job losses within the manufacturing sector rose to a six-year high, weighing on Sterling.

The US ISM Manufacturing PMI fell below forecast, slipping from 56.6 to 54.2 signalling growth within the sector had slowed.


USD Outlook: Will the US Dollar Rise on Jump in US Wages?

The US Dollar could rise at the start of this week’s session following the release of February’s US ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI.

The forecast suggests that there will be increased growth, with the figure rising from 56.7 to 57.3.

The GBP/USD exchange rate is likely going to fluctuate on Friday as the average hourly earnings in the US is predicted to rise by 3.3% in February.

The Dollar could be buoyed following the release of the US unemployment rate at the figure is forecast to dip from 4% to 3.8%.

US non-farm payrolls are also likely to have an effect on the ‘Greenback’, and if the payroll figure rises by 170K or higher than expected, the GBP/USD exchange rate could slip.


Key Events

4th March

09:30   GBP Markit Construction PMI (Feb)


5th March

00:01   GBP Like-for-like Retail Sales (Feb)

09:30   GBP Markit Services PMI (Feb)

15:00   USD ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI (Feb)


6th March

15:00   USD Factory Orders (Jan)


7th March

13:30   USD Nonfarm Productivity (Q4)


8th March

09:30   GBP Industrial Production (Jan)

13:30   USD Nonfarm Payrolls (Feb)

13:30   USD Average Hourly Earnings (Feb)

13:30   USD Unemployment Rate (Feb)


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To keep up to date with the US Dollar, visit the USD blog in our Currency News section.


Alastair Archbold

Foreign Exchange Manager

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