Upbeat Labour Report Allows AUD/GBP to Hold Steady
The Australian Dollar Pound (AUD/GBP) exchange rate traded in a narrow range on Thursday as markets reacted to Australia’s latest employment statistics.
At the time of writing AUD/GBP is almost unmoved from its starting levels, having stabilised following its decline on Wednesday.
Australian Dollar (AUD) Steady as Australian Job Report Beats Expectations
The Australian Dollar held steady against the Pound during Thursday’s Asian trading session as investors mulled over Australia’s latest labour report.
According to figures published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) employment rose by 34,700 in December.
While this was down from November’s phenomenal rise of 63,600 it was still well ahead of forecasts of a slide to just 9,000, with the current run of job growth now stretching into its 15th month, the longest streak on record.
This continued uptick in Australia’s labour market has led to some analysts to suggest that the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) may be prompted into raising rates later this year.
Gareth Aird, Senior Economist at Commonwealth Bank said;
‘The first rate rise since 2010 looks probable this year. Indeed, current market pricing implies a greater than 50% chance of a rate rise by August 2018.’
However slightly dampening the report was an uptick in the unemployment rate on the back of increased participation.
This lead to the AUD/GBP exchange rate struggling to push any higher as analysts interpreted the rise in unemployment as having a negative impact on wage growth.
Pound (GBP) Subdued
Meanwhile the Pound was left floundering a little at the start of the European session on Thursday as a report from Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) suggests that a recent cut in stamp duty has failed to bolster UK house sales.
The UK government axed stamp duty in an effort to help first time buyers get on the property ladder.
However the move appears to have failed quite spectacularly as home owners instead took it as an opportunity to raise their prices.
AUD/GBP Forecast: UK Retail Sales to Tumble?
Looking ahead the AUD/GBP exchange rate may be able to push higher again on Friday as the UK publishes its latest Retail Sales figures, with economists forecasting that sales growth will have slumped in December.
However with no more notable economic data left to be released this week the Australian Dollar may also struggle as the continued decline in iron ore prices take their toll on the currency.