The British pound depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.4450 level and was capped around the $1.4905 level. Sterling cam off after the U.K. government announced its second major bank assistance facility in three months today. The government will be able to insure themselves against losses on their riskiest assets and receive guarantees on debt. Additionally, the government will establish a ₤50 billion fund to purchase high-grade private sector securities to facilitate cash flow and jump-start lending through the auspices of Bank of England, beginning on 2 February. BoE is expected to announce new measures to ease monetary conditions tomorrow. Many traders believe these new BoE policies will amount to a de facto quantitative easing. BoE has reduced interest rates 350bps since October. Data released in the U.K. today saw Rightmove January house pries off 7.3% y/y. ITEM is now forecasting the U.K. GDP will decline 2.7% this year. U.K. bids are cited around the US$ 1.4345 level. The euro gained ground vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the ₤0.9090 level and was supported around the ₤0.8960 level.
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