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2021.02.2308:49:00UTC+00Pound Advances Amid Re-opening Optimism, Improved U.K. Wage Growth

The pound appreciated against its major counterparts in the European session on Tuesday, as U.K. wage growth improved in December and Prime Minister Boris Johnson's four-step reopening plan raised hopes of a return to normalcy.

Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that U.K. average earnings including bonuses rose 4.7 percent in three months to December, which was well above the expected rate of 4.1 percent.

Excluding bonus, average earnings grew 4.1 percent versus the forecast of 4 percent.

Claimant count also decreased by 20,000 in January from the previous month.

Nonetheless, the jobless rate came in at 5.1 percent in three months to December, which was 0.4 percentage points higher than the previous quarter. The rate matched economists' expectations.

The employment rate dropped 0.3 percentage points from the prior quarter to 75.0 percent.

On Monday, Boris Johnson outlined a roadmap to take England out of its Covid-19 lockdown.

The plan allows schools to reopen on March 8 and functioning of non-essential shops and hospitality for outdoor service from April 12.

Under the four-step plan, all restrictions will be removed by late June.

The pound spiked higher to near a 1-year high of 0.8630 against the euro and near a 3-year high of 1.4098 against the greenback, after falling to 0.8654 and 1.4056, respectively in early deals. If the pound continues its rise, 0.85 and 1.45 are possibly seen as its next resistance levels against the euro and the greenback, respectively.

The pound reversed from an early low of 147.64 against the yen, with the pair trading at 148.20. The pound is likely to find resistance around the 153.00 level.

The pound climbed to a 1-year high of 1.2666 against the franc, after having fallen to 1.2586 at 5:00 pm ET. The pound is seen finding resistance around the 1.30 level.

Looking ahead, Eurozone CPI for January will be featured in the European session.

U.S. consumer confidence index for February, FHFA's house price index and S&P/Case-Shiller home price index for December are due out in the New York session.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is due to testify on the Semiannual Monetary Policy Report before the Senate Banking Committee, via satellite at 10:00 am ET.



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