The pound has fallen heavily against the dollar for the second time this week after key US jobs figures showed better than expected evidence of an economic recovery.
While stock markets rallied, seemingly shrugging off recent fears about US stimulus being slowly withdrawn, sterling lost two cents against the world’s reserve currency when news of the positive employment data from the US emerged.
The pound, which had also dropped heavily the previous day when the Bank of England confirmed the base rate of interest was to remain at its current level for at least two years, fell below the $1.48 mark.
While such exchange rates are good news for exporters, it will hit the spending power of British holidaymakers heading to America.The euro has also strengthened against the pound.
The US payroll rose by 195,000 in June and the jobless rate remained the same at 7.6% – raising hopes for a stronger economy in the second half of 2013. The forecast was for around 165,000.
Hiring was more robust in the two previous months than earlier estimated, with some 70,000 net new jobs in May and April.
The positive data was seen as suggesting that the US Federal Reserve may start to ease off its support for the economy as early as this autumn – while quantitative easing and low interest rates will continue to push down the pound in the UK.
The US job market and the economy have proved surprisingly resilient this year. Hiring and consumer confidence have remained steady despite higher taxes and federal spending cuts.
The US economy has added an average of 202,000 jobs a month for the past six months, up from 180,000 in the previous six. That suggests businesses are growing more confident in the economy.
If the gains continue, the Federal Reserve might start to scale back its bond purchases before the year ends.