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Sterling steadies near 5-week highs after labour market data

Tuesday,   14-Sep-2021   02:35 PM (IST)

Sterling steadied close to 5-week highs against the dollar and 3-week highs against the euro on Tuesday, supported by labour market data that showed the total number of payrolled employees in Britain has climbed to pre-pandemic levels. The pound has been range-bound in recent days as investors assess Britain’s post-lockdown economic recovery and how that may play into the Bank of England’s stance on interest rates, currently at record lows. British employers added a record 241,000 staff to their payrolls last month, lifting the total number of payrolled employees just above the level they were before Britain first went into a COVID-19 lockdown last year, official data showed on Tuesday. Businesses reported more than 1 million vacancies in August - an all-time high - and the unemployment rate fell slightly to 4.6% in the three months to July, the Office for National Statistics said, in line with economists’ expectations in a Reuters poll. The data shows continued recovery in Britain’s job market as the government phases out its furlough support programme, which will finish on Sept. 30. Sterling traded 0.3% higher on the day at $1.3875 by 0811 GMT, making a steady climb into positive territory after the data, which was released at 0600 GMT. That was off a 5-week high of $1.3890 hit earlier on Sept 3. Against the euro, the pound was 0.2% higher at 85.20 pence per euro, off a 3-week high of 85.11 pence hit on Monday.