usd-100-bank-notes - USD

The British pound is higher against the US dollar on Thursday.

The greenback has nosedived after weekly US jobless claims tumbled by much more than expected. It reinforces the concern investors have about the damage the coronavirus is doing to the American economy.

The pound rose after the Bank of England opted not to cut interest rates any further and left the bond-buying program at the same size of £200 billion.

GBP/USD was up by 257 pips (+2.15%) to 1.2138 with a daily range of 1.1744 to 1.2129 as of 5pm GMT.

The currency pair had been meandering around 1.19 but then spiked up to above 1.21 to a new 1-week high. Week-to-date gains now stand at a tidy 4.23%.

British pound gains after Bank of England leaves rates steady

The Bank of England had already slashed interest rates twice in the lead up to today’s meeting so another cut was never really on the cards. The central bank left UK interest rates at 0.1%, a record low – and avoided a move into negative interest rates.

Lower interest rates are, in more normal times a negative thing for a currency because a lower return is earned by holding cash in that currency. However given the current emergency scenario caused by the coronavirus – negative interest rates have been seen as a good thing for the longer term benefit they will have on the economy and financial system.

Dollar slumps after US jobless claims spike over 3 million

Jobless claims in the United States have risen by the most on record by 3.28 million. That’s much worse than the 695,000 in October 1982, the previous peak – or the financial crisis where claims peaked at 665,000.

The dollar had been acting as a haven for FX traders seeking the safety of cash and US Treasuries, but the extent of the hit to the US economy itself has to date been underappreciated. Many businesses have had to make layoffs to make it through the impact of travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders issued by State and City authorities throughout the United States. is a news site only and not a currency trading platform. is a site operated by TransferWise Inc. ("We", "Us"), a Delaware Corporation. We do not guarantee that the website will operate in an uninterrupted or error-free manner or is free of viruses or other harmful components. The content on our site is provided for general information only and is not intended as an exhaustive treatment of its subject. We expressly disclaim any contractual or fiduciary relationship with you on the basis of the content of our site, any you may not rely thereon for any purpose. You should consult with qualified professionals or specialists before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content on our site. Although we make reasonable efforts to update the information on our site, we make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content on our site is accurate, complete or up to date, and DISCLAIM ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. Some of the content posted on this site has been commissioned by Us, but is the work of independent contractors. These contractors are not employees, workers, agents or partners of TransferWise and they do not hold themselves out as one. The information and content posted by these independent contractors have not been verified or approved by Us. The views expressed by these independent contractors on do not represent our views.