Sterling falls vs. euro, dollar as investors focus on BoE

Published On: March 29, 2022Categories: Latest News1.4 min read

Sterling lost ground against an already strengthening dollar, as 10-year Treasury yields at a three-year high above 2.5% boosted the greenback

Sterling fell against the euro and the dollar as investors focused on monetary policy divergence between Britain, the United States and the euro area.

In a speech in Brussels, Bank of England (BoE) Governor Andrew Bailey largely stuck to the tone of this month’s interest rate announcement, in which officials softened their language on the need for further rate hikes.

Money markets are pricing in 135 basis points (bps) of rate hikes by year-end, from 145 bps just before Bailey’s speech, including a 55% chance of a 50 bps rate hike in May.

Sterling lost ground against an already strengthening dollar, as 10-year Treasury yields at a three-year high above 2.5% boosted the greenback.

The pound fell 0.8% to $1.3075, its lowest level since March 16. On March 15 it hit its lowest since November 2020 at $1.30.

Against the euro, sterling fell 0.7% to 83.90 pence, its lowest since March 18.

EUR/GBP may not weaken much more below the 0.8300 mark, ING analysts said in a note to clients.

Deutsche Bank analysts said market focus this week would be on BoE speakers, as investors were assessing how the central bank would balance the need to bring inflation down to its 2% target against avoiding an economic downturn.

Recent policy updates from the BoE have kept downward pressure on sterling. The bank’s last monetary policy meeting signalled more caution over plans for further tightening.

But from now on, the market reaction might not follow the usual path in which the pound strengthens when rates rise.

This is the second consecutive meeting where the BoE has hiked rates with a tinge of regret and goes to the heart of why we think UK rate hikes may not necessarily be constructive for the pound, BofA analysts said in a research note.

About the Author: Jonathan Adams

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