The pound climbed from a one-week low as a report showed the U.K. unemployment rate fell below 5 percent for the first time since 2005.
Sterling was further boosted by a Bank of England survey which showed that despite an increase in business uncertainty after the June 23 referendum where the U.K. voted to leave the European Union, firms sought to maintain “business as usual.”
The British currency gained versus all of its 16 major peers as data showed the U.K. jobless rate, as measured by International Labour Organisation standards, dropped to 4.9 percent in the three months through May. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists was for an unchanged reading of 5 percent. Separate wage data showed average weekly earnings unexpectedly fell.
“It’s a double push really for the pound,” said Neil Jones, London-based head of hedge-fund sales at Mizuho Bank Ltd. “We have got insight into the thinking of businesses and it looks like the hiring plans” are not expected to change “for the moment, so we can probably maintain some healthy levels of employment.”
The pound rose 0.3 percent to $1.3154 as of 2:26 p.m. London time, after falling earlier to $1.3065, the lowest since July 12. Sterling strengthened 0.5 percent to 83.61 pence per euro.