Pound Down as Rate Hike Hopes Fade

The Pound Sterling struck a 6-month trough versus the US Dollar during Tuesday trading in London and was steady against the common currency Euro. The Pound has been under renewed pressure in recent weeks as investors' expectations of a rate adjustment from the Bank of England fade and as signs of weakness in the UK economy continue to emerge. The Brexit negotiations and the possible unfavorable outcome are simply the final bits of weight on the Pound. The Pound has now depreciated against the greenback by more than 2% after having initially been one of 2018's best performing currencies.

As reported at 11:05 am (BST) in London, the GBP/USD was trading at $1.33, down 0.39%; the pair earlier hit a trough of $1.3205, a loss of 0.7% and a level not seen since mid-November. The EUR/GBP is trading at 0.87098 Pence, down 0.29268%; the pair has ranged from a session trough of 0.86980 Pence and a peak of 0.87416 Pence.

Data Could Lift Cable

Currency strategists say that there is little that can restore market confidence in the Pound and the central bank's ability to hike interest rates this year. A downward trend is a near certainty with analysts targeting $1.32. Some improvement in UK economic data could provide a brief respite in the Pound's doldrums; on Wednesday, the GfK Consumer Confidence reading is due out for May with analysts expecting a slight improvement to -8 from -9, then on Thursday, Mortgage approvals will be released with expectations of a slight rise. Finally, on Friday, Markit will releases its Manufacturing PMI survey for May with analysts forecasting a slight decline in the reading to 53.6 from 53.9.

Barbara Zigah is a freelance journalist living in Ghana, who specializes in Forex-related content; her online work has appeared in the IB Times, NASDAQ, Benzinga, and Seeking Alpha.