It was almost all bad for Sterling bulls this week as we got weak UK economic data, a rate cut from the Bank of England, and coronavirus fears to take the British pound down!
United Kingdom Headlines and Economic data
- UK discusses possible steps to stem coronavirus spread: PM Johnson’s spokesman
- Britain must consider trade-offs in EU talks, chief executive says
- Massive risk-off sentiment right the start of the week after Saudi Arabia Stuns the world with massive oil discounts in all-out price war was the likely catalyst for Sterling to pop higher against the comdolls, while falling to the safe haven / low-yielders at the open of trading.
- Storms and coronavirus kept UK shoppers at home in February
- Britain says trade talks with EU will go ahead
- The Bank of England cut rates by 0.5% in an emergency coronavirus response, mirroring the Fed – no surprise here and this may have been the main catalyst (on top of the weak economic updates & coronavirus fears), for the pounds trend lower throughout the rest of the week.
- UK industrial production output continues to fall
- UK gross domestic product (GDP) was flat in the three months to January 2020
- UK announces five billion pound emergency response fund for coronavirus
- UK house price growth hits nearly four-year high – RICs
- Carney sees big challenges as BoE eyes ‘digital banknotes’
- Up to 10,000 people in UK infected as Boris Johnson warns ‘many families will lose loved ones’
- No major updates from the UK on the session, so the broad move lower in is likely due to global risk sentiment, which moved to negative on a negative reaction to the U.S.’ coronavirus response, and possibly on the likelihood traders were disappointed that the ECB didn’t do more to stimulate the economy (i.e., no expected rate cut) in their latest monetary policy actions.
- The Conference Board Leading Economic Indexfor the U.K. increased 0.1% in January 2020 to 91.4
- Brexit will not be delayed by coronavirus, says Johnson
- We saw a broad positive risk sentiment rally (more fiscal stimulus efforts from world governments), but Sterling didn’t participate, likely on massive U.S. dollar strength on Friday. This could be attributed to a rising demand for U.S. dollars between banks and companies causing liquidity issues.