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Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Pound on Longest Losing Streak Since May on BOE Easing Talk

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The pound extended its decline to the longest run in eight months as speculation of an imminent Bank of England interest-rate cut increased.

Sterling fell as much as 0.3% against the dollar to $1.2955. Credit Agricole (PA:CAGR) SA pointed out that more than half of the members of the bank’s Monetary Policy Committee are ready to support a reduction if U.K. data doesn’t improve. The next rate announcement is on Jan. 30.

Bets the BOE will lower borrowing costs this month grew after data on Monday showed the economy shrank in November, casting doubt over whether there was any growth at all in the fourth quarter. That added fuel to a sell-off spurred by policy makers Gertjan Vlieghe, Mark Carney and Silvana Tenreyro, who signaled support for a cut.

The next rate setter due to speak publicly is Michael Saunders on Wednesday morning in Northern Ireland. Consumer price index data for December is also due Wednesday.

“A more dovish rhetoric from Saunders, as well as potential downside surprises from the U.K. CPI could add to the headwinds for the pound,” Credit Agricole strategists including Valentin Marinov said in a note. “Looking ahead, investors will also focus on the December retail sales data, looking for any evidence that political uncertainty has weighed on domestic demand.”

The pound fell to $1.2970 as of 8:29 a.m. in London, taking its retreat so far this year to 2.2%. It weakened by 0.2% to 85.86 pence per euro, setting course for its fourth day of declines. The yield on 10-year government bonds slipped a third day to 0.719%, the lowest level since Jan. 6.

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