- Pound (GBP) trades mixed versus peers ahead of BoE interest rate announcement
- No change to policy expected
- US Dollar (USD) rallies on more upbeat Fed
- US jobless claims in focus, 850,000 new claims expected
The Pound US Dollar (GBP/USD) exchange rate is heading lower in early trade on Thursday, snapping a three-day winning streak. The pair settled on Wednesday +0.6% at US$1.2965 slightly off the weekly high of US$1.3008. At 06:15 UTC, GBP/USD trades -0.6% at US$1.2918.
The Pound is trading mixed versus its major peers, although lower versus the stronger US Dollar as investors look ahead to the Bank of England interest rate decision. The UK central bank is not expected to adjust monetary policy. However, they are expected to highlight the growing downside risks that the UK economy is facing.
The government’s job retention scheme is due to end next month meaning that unemployment is set to rise sharply from its current 4.2% to 7.5% by the end of the year. Then there is also the Brexit shock, with a no trade deal Brexit looking the most likely type of exit. And finally, inflation is at a 4-year low. With this in mind the BoE could pave the way for additional stimulus in November.
The Fed, as expected kept monetary policy unchanged, with interest rates at near and pledged to keep interest rates there until inflation rises considerably. However, a more upbeat outlook boosted he US Dollar. Officials changed their economic forecast to include a softer downturn of -3.7% this year versus -6.5% previously anticipated. The outlook for next year was also pared back to 4% growth from 5%. However, the projections also indicated that interest rates would stay at the current near 0 level through 2023.
The Fed upwardly revised its unemployment projection from 9.3% by year end of 7.6%. The jobless rate currently sits at 8.4%.
Looking ahead, the US labour market will remain in focus with the release of US initial jobless claims. Expectations are for the number of Americans signing up for unemployment benefit to decline mildly to 850,000, down from 884,000 the previous week.