FXstreet.com (Barcelona) - The British pound came off sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.3955 level and was capped around the $ 1.4295 level. The big news in the U.K. today was HSBC's announcement that it may need to raise ₤12.5 billion to shore up its capital base through a rights offering.

GCI Financial Team said: Most traders believe Bank of England will reduce its main interest rate to 0.50% on Thursday. The bigger news, however, will be the expected announcement that the central bank will begin to aggressively conduct unsterilized asset purchases to expand its balance sheet.

The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.9010 level and was supported around the ₤0.8810 level.