Sterling steadied above $1.35 on Tuesday, recovering some ground following a nearly 1 percent slide after Bank of England governor Mark Carney said interest rates rises in coming months would be limited and gradual.
The pound rose as much as 3.3 percent last week, jumping more than four cents to $1.3618 on the back of hawkish messages from the BoE and Gertjan Vlieghe, one of the Bank’s rate-setters normally considered a dove.
But it slid from its highest level since the Brexit result after Carney’s comments on Monday, which some analysts said were aimed at managing market expectations of the pace and number of rates hikes from the UK central bank.
In early London trade, the pound climbed as high as $1.3552, up 0.4 percent on the day.
It traded flat at 88.54 pence per euro, after losing almost 1 percent versus the single currency after Carney’s comments.
“(Carney’s comments) in turn lower expectations with respect to the central bank being close to another rate hike cycle,” strategists at Credit Agricole wrote in a note to clients.
“If anything it will depend on incoming data such as Wednesday’s August retail sales to make a case of further currency upside.”
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While investors will be on alert for retail sales data on Wednesday, the key event for traders this week is a speech in Florence on Friday by British Prime Minister Theresa May.
She is expected to discuss the Brexit negotiations, the next round of which have been postponed to the week of Sept. 25. Ratings firm Moody’s will also issue its rating of UK sovereign debt on Friday.
In a speech at the International Monetary Fund on Monday, Carney said Brexit was likely to hurt Britain’s growth prospects in the short term and push up inflation as the country adjusts to life outside the European Union.
“To guard against this (rise) it appears that the Bank of England is looking to mitigate some of the impact of higher prices by helping put a floor under the pound,” said CMC Markets chief markets analyst Michael Hewson.
Britain’s inflation rate has accelerated this year, due in large part to the fall in the value of the pound since the referendum decision in June 2016 to leave the EU. (Reuters)