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08:30 UK Claimant count (April) 12400 -2000 6400 (700)
08:30 UK Claimant count rate (April) 4.6% 4.5% 4.5%
08:30 UK Average earnings (3 months to March) Y/Y 2.3% 2.1% 2.0%
08:30 UK Average earnings ex bonuses (3 months to March) Y/Y 2.1% - 2.2%
08:30 UK ILO Jobless rate (March) 7.7% 7.8% 7.8%
The pound fell as minutes from the Bank of England’s May 5 meeting showed the majority of policy makers warned against raising borrowing costs, and a report revealed unemployment claims rose.
At the central bank’s May meeting, the Monetary Policy Committee voted 6-3 to hold interest rates at 0.5% as members said an increase “could adversely affect consumer confidence.”
U.K. unemployment claims rose in April at the fastest pace since January 2010, according to a separate report.
Jobless benefit claims increased by 12,400 from March to 1.47 million, the Office for National Statistics said today. The median forecast of economists was for no change. Unemployment measured by International Labour Organization methods fell by 36,000 to 2.46 million people in the quarter through March.
Of the central bank’s nine policy makers, Andrew Sentance maintained his call for a half percentage-point increase in the key rate from a record low of 0.5 percent.
Chief Economist Spencer Dale and Martin Weale continued a push for a quarter-point increase. They said the case for a move now was “finely balanced” according to the minutes.
Governor Mervyn King and the other five members of the Monetary Policy Committee voted for no change.
Adam Posen kept up a call for more bond purchases.
EUR/USD printed highs on $1.4285 before retreated to $1.4215.
GBP/USD fell from $1.6290 to $1.6133.
USD/JPY rose from Y80.90 to Y81.20.
US data starts at 1100GMT with the weekly MBA Mortgage Application Index, which is followed at 1430GMT by the weekly EIA Crude Oil Stocks. Later on, at 1800GMT, the FOMC meeting minutes are due.
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