During the early Asian trading session on Friday, the GBP/USD pair remained within a tight range between 1.2583 and 1.2600. Investors are taking a cautious approach, opting to stay on the sidelines in anticipation of the upcoming US Nonfarm Payrolls report. At the moment, the pair is trading at 1.2586, showing a slight decrease of 0.02% for the day.
The Bank of England (BoE) is expected to maintain its interest rate at 5.25% in the upcoming week and throughout the second quarter of 2024. Market expectations are leaning towards a quarter-point rate reduction by the BoE in June next year, with another cut anticipated in September. However, BoE Governor Bailey has indicated that high interest rates are likely to persist for a considerable duration, noting that the current situation does not warrant discussions about rate cuts.
The BoE’s Financial Policy Committee has also pointed out that in the current climate of high interest rates and ongoing inflation, riskier forms of corporate borrowing in financial markets, such as private credit and leveraged loans, are especially exposed to risks.
In the US, the Initial Jobless Claims saw a slight increase to 220K in the week ending December 2, up from 218K the previous week. In contrast, Continuing Claims fell to 1.861M from 1.925M the week before. Market participants are now focusing on the US employment data set to be released on Friday. The US Nonfarm Payrolls for November are projected to show an increase of 180K. If the data exceeds expectations, it could strengthen the US Dollar and limit the potential gains for the GBP/USD pair.