The British pound is lower against the US dollar on Tuesday afternoon as markets adjusted for a much greater chance of action at the Bank of England’s meeting on Thursday than the US Federal Reserve’s meeting a day before on Wednesday. Both central banks will set interest rate policy, but it is only in the UK that rates are likely to be lowered.

GBP/USD was lower by 46 pips (-0.36%) at 1.3009 with a daily price range of 1.30 to 1.307 as of 1.30pm GMT. There was a bout of early selling on Tuesday before the currency pair stabilised above 1.30 at a new 1-week low.

The US dollar

The US dollar has been part of a small cohort of haven currencies, including the yen and Swiss franc seeing demand amid the coronavirus outbreak in China this week. On Tuesday there was some evidence that market sentiment was turning with haven currencies turning lower and riskier currencies like the Australian dollar bouncing strongly off lows of the day.

The lift in sentiment comes after virus expert Zhong Nanshan, who leads the health commission team investigating the outbreak of the coronavirus officially named 2019nCov said the number of people infected will peak between one week and ten days.

The dollar lost some of its shine after some disappointing economic data suggested there is still a long way to go before US factories are back on their feet following a multi-month contraction. On Tuesday data showed US durable good orders for December rose 2.4% but that Non-defence Capital Goods Orders ex Aircraft fell -0.9% when no change was expected.

The British pound

Fears that Britain could leave the European without a trade deal compounded bets that UK interest rates might be cut by the Bank of England this week.

At a press conference on Tuesday with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, the EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier said about the upcoming trade talks with the UK “If we have no agreement, it will not be business as usual and the status quo. We have to face a risk of a cliff edge, in particular for trade.” is a news site only and not a currency trading platform. is a site operated by TransferWise Inc. (“We”, “Us”), a Delaware Corporation. We do not guarantee that the website will operate in an uninterrupted or error-free manner or is free of viruses or other harmful components. The content on our site is provided for general information only and is not intended as an exhaustive treatment of its subject. We expressly disclaim any contractual or fiduciary relationship with you on the basis of the content of our site, any you may not rely thereon for any purpose. You should consult with qualified professionals or specialists before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content on our site. Although we make reasonable efforts to update the information on our site, we make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content on our site is accurate, complete or up to date, and DISCLAIM ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. Some of the content posted on this site has been commissioned by Us, but is the work of independent contractors. These contractors are not employees, workers, agents or partners of TransferWise and they do not hold themselves out as one. The information and content posted by these independent contractors have not been verified or approved by Us. The views expressed by these independent contractors on do not represent our views.