Sterling had enjoyed a multi week high until data on Friday morning reminded the market that the road to Brexit is full of potholes and speedbumps.
Following the comments from the Bank of England about the scope of an interest hike at the next meeting scheduled for November, the pound had surged to a 10 week high of €1.1430. Considering the lows of €1.0743 exactly one month ago, this is a momentous move.
Enter the fray the Office for National Statistics (ONS), whose growth forecasts of the UK economy confirmed that the first six months of 2017 saw the weakest start to the year since 2012. The ONS stated that the new GDP estimates confirmed the economy grew by a modest 0.3% in the second quarter, after a similar expansion in the first three months of the year. These figures highlighted the fact that it’s the worst annual growth rate since 2013.
Almost simultaneously to this data, the Bank of England governor Mark Carney hinted that an interest rate hike is likely in the near term, as long as the economy stays on track (despite the growth forecasts, the economy is fairly stable, it seems). Carney went on to say that any rise would likely be to a limited extent, which appears to mean that a flurry of policy changes from the BoE are not on the agenda.
Sterling, although supported by the assumption of a near-term rate hike, has deflated towards the end of the week, and we’ll end around a cent down from the highs we reached earlier. The growth estimates will affect the market in the short to medium term, I predict, as they don’t bode well for the economy. So, despite the pounds good performance this last month, in the very recent past we’ve seen the lows of €1.07, and though we are at least 5 cents higher, I suggest that this is an opportunity for those of you that have been waiting to take advantage.
There are many who predict Pound Euro parity by the end of the year. Although I’m sceptical, let’s not be naïve and expect sterling to continue with its winning streak. Brexit negotiations are ongoing, and the wrangle over the single market access is a major sticking point on both sides of the table.
I’d recommend to anyone who is still looking to move funds to protect themselves and not expect miracles. A 5% move in your favour during the post-Brexit era was a dream for many people over the summer months, so don’t miss out.
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