Sterling Higher but Gains Seen as Limited


The Pound Sterling edged higher in London trade, buoyed by unexpectedly upbeat data earlier this week and an overall weaker US Dollar. Analysts say, however, that concerns over the Brexit negotiations continue to limit gains for the Pound. Markets are also in need of more clarity regarding the UK economy, given the generally mixed data in recent weeks. One analyst points to the Brexit as the now dominant factor for sentiment for the Pound, and that even macro news will have little impact on the long-term direction.

As reported at 10:53 am (BST) in London, the GBP/USD was trading at $1.342, a gain of 0.14% and off the session peak of $1.3438; the pair's session low was recorded at $1.3397. The EUR/GBP is trading at 0.87641 Pence, a gain of 0.15833%; the pair has ranged from a trough of 0.87400 Pence to a peak of 0.87573 Pence in this trading session.

Considerations for a BoE Rate Hike

Currently, markets are only pricing in a 60% chance of a rate hike from the Bank of England. The central bank would likely need to see at least a month's worth of solid, positive economic data before they consider pushing through an increase. In the meantime, the Brexit discussions are in the forefront of market consciousness and there is great hope that the EU summit to be held later this month could break the current deadlock between Britain and the EU.

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.