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Slowing inflation to weaken the pound?

currency-newsSlowing inflation to weaken the pound?
The pound was subdued yesterday as Theresa May offered no major revelations when she updated MPs on the state of Brexit.

Sterling remains mostly flat this morning, with GBP/EUR muted at €1.1394, GBP/USD subdued at $1.2894, while both GBP/CAD and GBP/AUD hold steady at C$1.7057 and AU$1.8118 respectively. Only GBP/NZD is showing any notable movement so far today, with the pairing plummeting to NZ$1.8910.

In the spotlight today will be the release of the UK’s latest inflation reading, with the pound potentially slipping if inflation falls out of the Bank of England’s target range as forecast.

What’s been happening?

The pound struggled yesterday as Theresa May sought to persuade MPs to give her more time to carry out her mandate and find an alternative to the Irish backstop.

In updating Parliament on the current state of Brexit negotiations May said that the EU had still not budged on the backstop, but still wished to pursue further negotiations before granting MPs with a non-binding vote on Brexit options at the end of February.

Meanwhile, the GBP/USD exchange rate rallied from a two-week low on Tuesday after the US dollar faced widespread weakness on Tuesday, despite data showing a record number of domestic job openings in December.

This weakness in USD resulted in the GBP/EUR exchange rate slumping towards the end of yesterday’s session as demand for the euro was boosted by the drop in the greenback.

What’s coming up?

Looking ahead, the pound is poised to slide today as the UK releases its latest consumer price index (CPI) with economists forecasting inflation will have slipped from 2.1% to 1.9% in January.

This would be the first time that inflation has slipped out of the Bank of England’s target bracket of 2-3% since 2017 and may be seen as the final nail in the coffin for the chances of a BoE rate hike this year.

Meanwhile, the euro looks set to weaken this morning in the wake of the Eurozone’s latest industrial production figures, with another contraction in production likely to prompt further concerns about a slowdown in the bloc.

Finally, the US dollar may also face some pressure today as the US publishes its own CPI figures, with economists forecasting that core inflation will have begun to slip at the start of 2019.

 
Philip McHugh

Philip McHugh

Joining the corporate trading desk in 2007, Phil now over sees all of Currencies Direct’s corporate dealing activity. Having gained experience working with hundreds of businesses to optimise international payments processes and execute comprehensive risk management strategies, Phil currently works with a portfolio of corporate clients whilst managing Currencies Direct’s overall market exposure

Phil has FCA approval and has completed the Certificate in International Treasury Management (CertiTM)

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