Wednesday, 18 September, 2019

Sterling recovers from lows, helped by strong retail sales

Wage growth at highest rate since 2008 Sterling extends plunge, hits six-month low vs euro as hard Brexit fears build
Russell Knight | 20 July, 2019, 17:33

Meanwhile, Euro was down by 0.35 percent to $1.1218 against American dollar, while Pound Sterling had been hovering near more than two-year-low against its American counterpart to $1.2412, down by 0.83 percent.

European stock markets edged higher on Tuesday, while the pound hit the lowest level versus the dollar in more than two years on Brexit deadlock.

Now the British currency is trading at less than $1.24, meaning British tourists have seen the number of dollars each pound buys them drop by more than a quarter.

"Clearly the issues facing the United Kingdom now have not been faced in the last decade or so, even during the global financial crisis, and the potential for the pound to hit the 2016 lows is there", Mellor said.

The pound fell to its lowest rate against the dollar since March 2017 early on Tuesday after both prime ministerial candidates refused to take a no-deal Brexit off the table at Monday's Conservative leadership debate.

Both the contenders to be prime minister have said they would leave the European Union without a transition deal if necessary, raising the prospect of a shock to the economy in just over three months' time. Johnson and his rival Jeremy Hunt have vied with each other to show party members their willingness for a "hard" Brexit. It lost 0.2% against the euro to trade at 90.51 pence, a new six-month low EURGBP=D3 .

GBP/USD surged from 1.2430 to 1.2530 as of 18:46 GMT today.

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In fact, the headline United Kingdom retail sales reversed the previous month's decline of 0.6% and posted a strong 1.0% growth in June as compared to consensus estimates pointing to a further drop of 0.3%. With the pound already the worst-performing major currency against the dollar this year, Morgan Stanley were not alone in predicting further falls.

The business community and many lawmakers fear dire economic consequences from a no-deal Brexit which would lead to immediate trade tariffs for certain sectors including the automotive industry.

The backstop is an insurance policy created to prevent the return of a hard border between EU-member Ireland and British province Northern Ireland.

Some recent surveys of companies have suggested employers are becoming more cautious about hiring in the lead-up to the new Brexit deadline of 31 October.

"Pound volatility is picking up but is very cheap compared to the highs of last December and should keep moving higher", Nomura strategists told clients.

However, limiting the upside in the Pound today was a report from the Office for Budget Responsibility in which it warned a no-deal Brexit could cause a recession in the UK.

According to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the week to July 9 saw speculators increasing net short sterling positions to $5.69 billion - the fourth consecutive week of increase.

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