- Pound (GBP) trades sharply lower as BoE could cut rates
- the UK goes into lockdown and covid deaths rise
- Euro (EUR) supported by stronger than forecast composite PMI data
- German factory orders in focus
The Pound Euro (GBP/EUR) exchange rate is trading lower on Thursday as it extends losses for a second day . The pair settled in the previous session sharply lower at -0.6% at €1.1073, the low of the day. At 05:15 UTC, GBP/EUR trades -0.3% at €1.1043.
The UK begins its second lockdown today after MP’s approved the month-long closure of the UK economy, by voting overwhelmingly in favour of the move. Brits will now remain in their homes until 2nd December to prevent covid-19 causing more deaths than the first wave. The UK has the largest official death toll in Europe so far and recorded another 492 deaths over the past 24 hours. This was the highest level since late May.
Attention will now turn to the Bank of England which is due to give their interest rate decision today, in addition to the quarterly inflation report. The central bank was expected to keep rates on hold at a record low 0.1%, however rumpurs are swirling in early trade that the BoE could in fact cut rates. GDP and inflation projections are expected to be lowered particularly in light of lockdown 2.
The BoE is also expected to increase its bond buying programme by £100 billion. Whilst this was on the cards a new lockdown could have forced the central bank’s hand a little earlier than initially expected.
Investors will be listening carefully for any clues on negative rates. Whilst the central bank continues its official review into the impact of negative rates on the banking industry, the BoE is not expected to make any announcement surrounding negative rates yet.
The Euro advanced across the board on Wednesday after data revealed that the Eurozone economy was in a slightly better place than initially feared. The composite PMI recorded 50, up from 49.4. The level 50 separates expansion from contraction.
Attention will now turn to German Factory orders. Analysts are expecting orders to increase 2% month on month in September, a slowdown from Augusts 4.7% increase but still a solid increase.