GBP AUD Lower as UK Employment Data Awaits

GBP AUD Looks to Recover from Latest Headwind

The GBP AUD exchange rate was -0.12% lower on Monday as traders awaited the latest employment data from the United Kingdom economy for October. The figures will miss the late-November spread of Omicron and have a chance of a small boost to sterling. The British Pound actually touched a new high near 1.9000 on Monday before dropping back.

The GBP to AUD rate was trading at 1.8937 ahead of the data and the pair faces a busy week of data with Westpac consumer confidence, UK inflation and Aussie employment levels.

‘Significant decrease’ in Aussie virus cases expected in coming months

New South Wales and Victoria have reported over 29,000 and 22,000 cases of coronavirus respectively in the latest figures.

But there was hope for Australia after it was predicted that cases would decrease significantly over the coming months.

Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg was asked about a Business NSW survey that said 40% of 2,000 businesses don’t have enough cash flow to get through the next three months.

He said the Omicron variant is “another challenge”.

“It’s a new phase of the virus and it’s a reminder that the pandemic is far from over. So it is affecting consumer spending. It is affecting consumer and business confidence. And we’ve seen a large number of workers who are absent from the workforce and that’s put real pressure on our supply chains. Now, the government has in place a number of measures at both federal and state level to assist businesses and to ensure that the supply chains keep going.”

“We need to keep food on the shelves. We need the trucks to continue to ensure the deliveries. We need the abattoirs to keep working. Indeed, we need water and energy and telecommunications and other essential services to keep going.”

UK employment figures could boost the pound

The UK economy will have the latest employment figures released and there is a potential for a boost as the figures for October will miss the late-November Omicron variant spread and restrictions.

Forecasts are for a 125k improvement in jobs, compared to 149k in the previous month, while the unemployment rate is expected to stay at 4.2%.

Meanwhile, the drop in UK virus case numbers indicates that the Omicron wave may well be “turning around”, according to an expert advising the Government.

Prof Mike Tildesley, from the University of Warwick, said that the latest case figures were “cautiously good news” and he hoped the country may have a “flu-type” relationship with the virus by the end of the year.

The UK’s Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said it was “looking positive” and he was “confident” the country can start to ditch the larger Plan B restrictions from next Wednesday.

Mr Zahawi told BBC Breakfast: “The numbers are looking positive. I’m confident that when we review this we’ll be in a much better place to lift some of these restrictions.

The country has recently cut the isolation period to five days from seven and Sajid Javid plans to scrap health passports.