COZforex: The pound edged lower against the US dollar on Thursday, as upbeat US jobless claims data sent the greenback broadly higher, while the Bank of England kept monetary policy on hold.

GBP/USD hit 1.6724 amid US morning trade, the session low; the pair subsequently consolidated at 1.6772, falling 0.12%. Coz forex senior derivatives trader Daniel • Moloney said, GBP/USD is predicted to find support at 1.6739, and a drop through could take it to the next support line of 1.6682. Meanwhile, the pair is predicted to find its first resistance at 1.6838, and a rise through could take it to the next resistance line of 1.6880.

The greenback strengthened broadly after the Labor Department reported that the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending April 4 dropped by 30,000 to a seasonally adjusted 300,000 from the previous week’s upwardly revised total of 332,000. Analysts had expected jobless claims to decline to 320,000. Continuing jobless claims declined to 2.77 million, the lowest since January 2008.

The data came a day after the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s March meeting indicated that an interest rate increase is unlikely to be warranted for some time.

The Fed’s March meeting minutes released on Wednesday showed that policymakers discussed whether to keep interest rates at record lows until inflation moves higher, and did not elaborate on a possible timeframe for when rates could start to rise. The minutes also indicated growing concerns among officials over persistently low inflation.

Last month the US central bank reduced the monthly pace of purchases by $10 billion, to $55 billion, and repeated it is likely to continue paring the program in “further measured steps.”

Earlier Thursday, the BoE said it was maintaining the benchmark interest rate at 0.50%, in a widely anticipated move. The bank also said it was to maintain the stock of asset purchases financed by the issuance of central bank reserves at £375 billion.

(COZ forex UK)