Pound US Dollar (GBP/USD) Exchange Rate Jumps as BoE Keeps Rates Unchanged

Pound US Dollar Exchange Rate Spikes as BoE Keeps Rates Unchanged

Article updated 12:40, 2/11/2023:

The Pound US Dollar (GBP/USD) exchange rate has spiked on the back of the Bank of England’s (BoE) interest rate decision.

The BoE elected to keep rates held at a 15-year high, and ruled out the prospect of imminent rate cuts.

BoE Governor Andrew Bailey explained:

‘Higher interest rates are working and inflation is falling. But we need to see inflation continuing to fall all the way to our 2% target.

We’ve held rates unchanged this month but we will be watching closely to see if further rate increases are needed.’

In tandem with the bullish market impulse, this has allowed GBP to rise above the safe-haven ‘Greenback’.

However, these gains are likely limited, as the BoE further outlined a 50% chance that the UK could fall into recession in 2023.

Original article continues below:

Pound US Dollar (GBP/USD) Exchange Rate Rangebound as BoE Anticipation Builds

The Pound US Dollar (GBP/USD) exchange rate is trading sideways this morning, as investors anticipate the Bank of England’s (BoE) interest rate decision.

At the time of writing, GBP/USD is trading at around US$1.2190, showing little movement from the morning’s opening rates.

Pound (GBP) Ticks Down Ahead of BoE Decision

The Pound (GBP) is edging lower this morning, as investor nerves intensify ahead of the Bank of England’s interest rate decision.

Markets widely anticipate a pause from the bank, as the UK’s economic outlook has continued to degrade. While inflation does remain persistent and elevated, the BoE runs a very real risk of pushing the UK into recession if it overtightens.

Analysts also anticipate hawkish forward guidance from the BoE. Julien Lafargue, Chief Market Strategist at Barclays, explained:

‘Although the BoE is likely to revise its short-term growth and inflation forecasts lower, just like its peers, the MPC will want to prevent financial conditions from easing prematurely. As such, we expect a hawkish narrative to remain in place, with the door still open for future hikes should they be required.’

Whether hawkish guidance can aid Sterling remains to be seen however, as recession anxieties still persist.

US Dollar (USD) Muted as Fed Keeps Rates Unchanged

The US Dollar (USD) is trading flatly this morning, as investors continue to mull last night’s interest rate decision from the Federal Reserve.

The Fed extended its tightening pause, but kept a target interest rate of between 5.25% to 5.5% in its forecasts. This suggested that a future hike was on the cards, but investors appear unconvinced.

Analysts at ING commented that:

‘While there does appear to be a slight softening in the degree of hawkishness the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is expressing, they are careful not to provide a signal that policy has peaked, which could tempt traders to drive market rates lower.’

Markets have shifted their expectation towards the Fed’s cycle being over, which is serving to undermine USD this morning.

Additionally, US Treasury yields are remaining elevated, which further serves to cut the need for further hiking.

The Fed’s inaction has also prompted an improved market mood this morning, which is likely undermining the safe-haven US Dollar.

Pound US Dollar Exchange Rate Forecast: US Labour Data to Dent USD?

Looking ahead to tomorrow, the US Dollar may see renewed volatility following the release of the latest employment data.

Non farm payrolls are forecast by economists to have fallen significantly in October, dropping from 336,000 to an expected 180,000. If this proves accurate, USD exchange rates could tumble amid signs of looseness in the labour market.

However, this could be offset if the unemployment rate holds at 3.8%, which could suggest that employment hasn’t fallen detrimentally. Although, signs of slowdown in hiring could lead to pared back Fed hike bets, which could yield further headwinds.

Then, the ISM services PMI is set to print. If the vital sector shows signs of slowing activity as forecast, the ‘Greenback’ could stumble.

For the Pound, BoE Chief Economist Huw Pill is due to speak. If he takes a hawkish stance, GBP could strengthen.

John Mulcahey

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