Retail Sales Weighs on GBP

Disappointing retail sales figures from the UK succeeded only in keeping the Pound Sterling under pressure. The GBP/USD dipped below the $1.30 threshold on growing concerns that the anticipated interest rate increase from the Bank of England might not, in fact, be a foregone conclusion. In the latest poll, economists had predicted that June's retail sales would hit 0.4% (month-over-month), but the ONS reported -0.5%, a significant fall, instead.

As reported at 11:14 am (BST) in London, the GBP/USD was trading at $1.3003, down 0.56%; the pair has ranged from a session trough of $1.2983 to a peak of $1.3083 in this trading session. Against the Euro, the EUR/GBP is trading at 0.89202 Pence, a gain of 0.19%; the pair earlier hit a peak of 0.89400 Pence, while the low is at 0.89030 Pence.

More and more, markets are changing their views on the certainty of an upward rate adjustment from the Bank of England, though some analysts believe the BoE will follow through before posing with any additional changes. Up until a week ago, market expectations had been in favor of a rate hike by 80%, but that number fell to 72% with the latest data and with the backdrop of a possibly “hard” Brexit given the challenges the Prime Minister is facing in Parliament.

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.