Pound Sterling fails to hold recovery as US Dollar recovers


  • Pound Sterling finds buying interest while UK recession risks remain intact.
  • UK Manufacturing PMI is expected to contract for the 14th time in a row.
  • UK’s real estate inquiries increase as households see no more increase in mortgage rates.

The Pound Sterling (GBP) faces an intense sell-off despite the United States' core Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) price index for August remaining softer than anticipated. The monthly core PCE expanded at a nominal pace of 0.1% in August against expectations and the former release of 0.2%. The annualized PCE has softened to 3.9% as expected from the former release of 4.3%. Headline PCE grew by 0.4%, doubling from July’s pace but remained slower than expectations of 0.5%. The headline data was expected to remain hot due to rising energy prices.

Earlier, the GBP/USD pair discovered stellar buying interest as investors digested the upside risks of a recession in the United Kingdom. The cable rebounds meaningfully as market participants start admitting that the British economy has no other option than to operate with higher interest rates by the Bank of England (BoE) due to a hot-inflation environment. The strength in the Pound Sterling also came from a corrective move in the US Dollar.

After contracting for 13 months in a row, the UK’s Manufacturing PMI is expected to continue the declining spell as the BoE is quite clear about keeping interest rates higher long enough for inflation to come down to 2%.

Daily Digest Market Movers: Pound Sterling faces a sell-off as US Dollar rebounds

  • Pound Sterling fails to hold recovery as the US Dollar resumes its upside journey after a gradual correction.
  • The GBP/USD pair recovery falts due to potential United Kingdom recession risks.
  • The UK economy is exposed to the risk of a recession as labor market conditions have cooled down after corporations turned pessimistic about demand.
  • Britain’s manufacturing and service sectors are facing the wrath of higher interest rates by the Bank of England (BoE). After a dismal Manufacturing PMI, the Services PMI also slipped into the contraction phase as households struggled to bear the burden of high inflation.
  • The strength in the Pound Sterling also came from increasing queries about real estate as homebuyers think the BoE is done with hiking interest rates. The UK’s property website Zoopla said the volume of inquiries for new homes rose by 12% over the past four weeks.
  • Lloyd Bank Business Barometer reported on Thursday that British business confidence fell to 36% in September from August's reading of 41%, which was an 18-month high.
  • Hann-Ju Ho, senior economist at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, clarified that the survey was conducted before BoE’s unchanged interest rate decision, which should have boosted confidence among employers. However, he warned that the economic environment remains uncertain with inflation and interest rate pressures playing their part. The recent decision by the central bank is likely to help businesses feel more upbeat about the future.
  • Meanwhile, the UK’s National Statistics Office reported the final reading of real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reading on Friday at 06:00 GMT. The real GDP remained in line with the previous estimate of 0.2% and 0.6% on a quarterly and annualized basis.
  • Next week, investors will keenly focus on the S&P Global Manufacturing PMI report for September. UK factory activities are expected to continue remaining on a contracting trajectory for the 14th time in a row. A figure below the 50.0 threshold is considered a contraction in economic activities. The economic data is seen unchanged at 44.2.
  • Investors’ risk-taking ability improves as the fourth quarter of 2023 begins, but upside risks to a global slowdown remain intact.
  • The US Dollar is off from a 10-month high ahead of the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) preferred inflation gauge. As per estimates, the monthly core Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) price index is expected to maintain a steady pace of 0.2%. The annualized data is foreseen decelerating to 3.9% vs. July’s reading of 4.2%.
  • Meanwhile, US labor market conditions are improving as US weekly Jobless Claims for the week ending September 22 were better than expectations. The US Department of Labor reported that individuals claiming jobless claims for the first time increased by 2K to 204K from the previous week’s release but remained lower than expectations of 215K.

Technical Analysis: Pound Sterling falls back below 1.2200

The Pound Sterling jumped close to 1.2260 after a breakout of the Bearish Wedge chart pattern formed in a smaller time frame. The GBP/USD pair recovered strongly and is expected to move to near the round-level resistance of 1.2300. A steady recovery in the Cable was propelled by oversold momentum oscillators. However, the broader trend is still bearish as all short-to-long-term Exponential Moving Averages (EMAs) are declining.

Pound Sterling FAQs

What is the Pound Sterling?

The Pound Sterling (GBP) is the oldest currency in the world (886 AD) and the official currency of the United Kingdom. It is the fourth most traded unit for foreign exchange (FX) in the world, accounting for 12% of all transactions, averaging $630 billion a day, according to 2022 data.
Its key trading pairs are GBP/USD, aka ‘Cable’, which accounts for 11% of FX, GBP/JPY, or the ‘Dragon’ as it is known by traders (3%), and EUR/GBP (2%). The Pound Sterling is issued by the Bank of England (BoE).

How do the decisions of the Bank of England impact on the Pound Sterling?

The single most important factor influencing the value of the Pound Sterling is monetary policy decided by the Bank of England. The BoE bases its decisions on whether it has achieved its primary goal of “price stability” – a steady inflation rate of around 2%. Its primary tool for achieving this is the adjustment of interest rates.
When inflation is too high, the BoE will try to rein it in by raising interest rates, making it more expensive for people and businesses to access credit. This is generally positive for GBP, as higher interest rates make the UK a more attractive place for global investors to park their money.
When inflation falls too low it is a sign economic growth is slowing. In this scenario, the BoE will consider lowering interest rates to cheapen credit so businesses will borrow more to invest in growth-generating projects.

How does economic data influence the value of the Pound?

Data releases gauge the health of the economy and can impact the value of the Pound Sterling. Indicators such as GDP, Manufacturing and Services PMIs, and employment can all influence the direction of the GBP.
A strong economy is good for Sterling. Not only does it attract more foreign investment but it may encourage the BoE to put up interest rates, which will directly strengthen GBP. Otherwise, if economic data is weak, the Pound Sterling is likely to fall.

How does the Trade Balance impact the Pound?

Another significant data release for the Pound Sterling is the Trade Balance. This indicator measures the difference between what a country earns from its exports and what it spends on imports over a given period.
If a country produces highly sought-after exports, its currency will benefit purely from the extra demand created from foreign buyers seeking to purchase these goods. Therefore, a positive net Trade Balance strengthens a currency and vice versa for a negative balance.

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