UK labour market,FOMC minutes in focus

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09:30 GMT   UK Labour market report (Average weekly earnings (Dec); unemployment rate (Dec); claimant count rate (Jan):  The UK unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 5.1% in November and is forecast to fall further to 5.0% in December (based on a fall in the number of people filing jobless claims during the month). Nonetheless, the tighter labour market isn’t pushing up wages, as the growth in average weekly earnings with bonus is expected to slow somewhat, due in part to high bonus payments a year ago.


The news could further set back expectations for UK rate tightening and thereby weaken the pound.


13:30 GMT   US Housing starts & building permits (Jan):Housing starts are expected to rise from the previous month as builders make up for temporary delays in getting projects started. On the other hand, building permits are expected to decline slightly, partly due to a tax change in New York City. The rise in starts may reassure investors that the Fed’s rate hike in December hasn’t damaged the US housing market and could bolster the dollar. 

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