Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 18 October 2019

British pound unmoved by return to growth for UK economy

Against the dollar, the pound edged 0.1 per cent higher to $1.2478, still close to Tuesday's low of $1.2439, its lowest in more than two years

Sterling is languishing around a two-year low even as economy rebounds. Brexit could plunge sterling to new depths. EPA
Sterling is languishing around a two-year low even as economy rebounds. Brexit could plunge sterling to new depths. EPA

Sterling held near its lowest level for more than two years on Wednesday as better-than-expected readings on the British economy did little to lift the gloom.

Growing fears of a no-deal Brexit under a new prime minister, and weak data in recent weeks, have raised fears that the Bank of England will have to reverse its relatively confident outlook on the British economy and join its global peers in starting to cut interest rates.

Britain's economy grew more than expected in May, helped by a rebound in car production after Brexit-related shutdowns.

Overall output expanded 0.3 per cent after contracting by 0.4 per cent in April, stronger than all forecasts in a Reuters poll, which had pointed to a rise of 0.1 per cent.

A spat between Britain and the United States following the leak of memos about the U.S. administration from the British ambassador also raised concerns.

Against the dollar, the pound edged 0.1 per cent higher to $1.2478, still close to Tuesday's low of $1.2439, its lowest in more than two years, barring a flash crash earlier this year.

Against the euro, the pound was on track for a 10th consecutive week of losses, dropping 0.1 per cent to 89.95 pence.

Markets are also now pricing in a BoE rate cut during the next 12 months, as central banks around the world adopt an easing bias in the face of economic uncertainty and trade tensions between the United States and China.

Updated: July 10, 2019 01:26 PM

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