Daily Currency Update

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Today's UK data could drive BoE's next move

GBP - British Pound

Sterling has been influenced heavily this week on anticipation of interest rate cuts from the Bank of England. The week began with the chances of an end of January rate cut up at almost 80% but as the week progressed, positive data from the UK pushed back anticipation of a January cut to 55%, with a higher chance of a cut later in the year. May looks like the most likely cut, with two rate cuts priced in for the year.

UK PMI data comes out at 9-30am today and this will be watched closely for further evidence of whether a January rate cut is viable.

Key Movers

The market mood remained fragile in Friday’s Asian trading, as a sense of caution prevailed amid concerns over the rapid spread of the China coronavirus outbreak globally, despite the Chinese authorities extending their containment efforts.

The Asian equities traded mixed amid the virus concerns and slowing volumes, as the financial markets in China, Taiwan, South Korea and Indonesia were closed for the Chinese New Year.

Yesterday saw the European Central Bank (ECB) Chief Christine Lagarde at the post-monetary policy meeting press conference. The ECB left interest rates unchanged with Lagarde maintaining a relatively positive outlook on the economy. She said incoming data is in line with the ECB's baseline scenario. She described signs of a moderate increase in underlying inflation and felt that the risks to their growth outlook is now less pronounced.

On a day where risk aversion dominated, traders saw the ECB rate decision as a greenlight for euro weakness. The central bank has no immediate plans to change monetary policy and it will be some time before they decide how their strategy needs to change. Lagarde kicked off the central bank's first strategic policy review since 2003. When asked how long it would take, she made it clear that there is no urgency. They'll be done when they are done which would hopefully be by November or December. The euro will remain in focus tomorrow with the Eurozone's January PMI numbers scheduled for release.

The White House administration official told Reuters late Thursday, the US President Trump will sign a new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade deal on Wednesday during a ceremony at the White House. This comes after the US Senate overwhelmingly approved the legislation. The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which replaces NAFTA, still needs to be formally approved by Canada, Reuters cites.

Expected Ranges

GBP/USD: 1.3080 - 1.3170 ▼

GBP/EUR: 1.1810 - 1.1910 ▼

GBP/AUD: 1.9110 - 1.9230 ▼

GBP/CAD: 1.7180 - 1.7290 ▼