Daily Currency Update

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Bank of England Interest Rate Announcement in Focus this Week

GBP - British Pound

Sterling remains on the back-foot in early trading as markets look towards Thursday’s much anticipated Bank of England’s Monetary policy statement and Rate Announcement. The end of last week saw Sterling roughly a cent off its weekly high, finishing close to the 1.3055 mark. This was despite improved January PMI and CBI survey figures pouring cold water on any negative sterling sentiment. The improved figures decreased the chance of a rate cut this month from 80% to 60%, however, even if rates are not cut this week markets expect that the BoE will do so at some point this year. Apart from the BoE meeting, we have no other top tier data from the UK so movements for sterling maybe a little light in the run up to the BoE release.

Key Movers

EUR/USD fell throughout much of last week as business activity in the Eurozone remained muted at the start of 2020. Latest figures showed a recovery in Eurozone manufacturing PMI, but this was pretty much cancelled out by a decline in the service sector. Combined with the European central bank downgrading growth forecasts from 1.8% to 1.2%, in their January statement, this saw EUR USD fall to seven-week lows. The euro seems to be continuing its decline in early trading this week as markets await Friday’s preliminary GDP and Consumer Price Index for January.

In contrast, Wednesday’s Federal Open Markets committee statement and accompanying rate announcement are likely to be non-starter as recent US data remain in line with expectations and FOMC members continue to re-emphasize the message that policy is now on hold. This will therefore have little impact on the USD and its major peers but is worthwhile to watch in case there is any deviation from the expected rhetoric.

In other news the Chinese government has extended the Lunar New Year holiday and advised big businesses to either shut down or tell staff to work from home to curb the spread of the deadly Coronavirus. These actions will likely see a negative knock on effect to global trade and Chinese data in the coming months and could see further gains for the safe-haven US dollar.

Lastly, with the UK set to leave the EU on Friday, many will be hoping for a new era of prosperity in a post Brexit landscape, but the likelihood is that uncertainty will endure throughout the next stage of Brexit negotiations, leading to increased and prolonged volatility across currency markets throughout out the rest of the year.

Expected Ranges

GBP/USD: 1.3045 - 1.3135 ▲

GBP/EUR: 1.1835 - 1.1925 ▲

GBP/AUD: 1.9275 - 1.9395 ▲

GBP/NZD: 1.9885 - 2.0005 ▲

GBP/CAD: 1.72 - 1.7310 ▲