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网址(www.hg9988.vip)_ANALYSIS-Weak pound and forceful Fed pressure Bank of England to act big

网址(www.hg9988.vip)_ANALYSIS-Weak pound and forceful Fed pressure Bank of England to act big

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,Even though Britain's economy shrank unexpectedly in April and there were some signs of inflationary forces in the labour market ebbing, the pound's slide and the increasingly hawkish stance of other central banks put the BoE in a tough spot.

LONDON: With Britain's currency sinking and the U.S. Federal Reserve poised to raise borrowing costs aggressively, Bank of England policymakers may suddenly feel pressured to announce an outsized interest rate hike of their own this week.

Even though Britain's economy shrank unexpectedly in April and there were some signs of inflationary forces in the labour market ebbing, the pound's slide and the increasingly hawkish stance of other central banks put the BoE in a tough spot.

All but one of the 56 economists polled by Reuters last week expected the BoE to raise Bank Rate on Thursday to 1.25% from 1.0%, but many warn a rise to 1.5% could be a close call. ECILT/GB

Financial markets point to a roughly 43% chance of a 50 bps hike.

Recent events arguably show why.

Sterling on Tuesday slid below $1.21, its lowest since May 2020 – a headache for members of the Monetary Policy Committee who know that a weak currency will exacerbate inflation in the months ahead, with Britain reliant on energy imports.

The pound has fallen 4.5% against the dollar since late May, when finance minister Rishi Sunak announced further help for households facing a hefty cost-of-living hit - a package that economists had thought might shore up confidence in Britain's economic outlook, and with it the currency.

The boost to sterling did not last long, however, as U.S. inflation accelerated more than expected, intensifying bets on Fed rate hikes.

Last week, the European Central Bank flagged rate hikes at its next two meetings, including a possible half percentage-point rise in September.

The BoE's trade-weighted sterling index GBPTWI=BOEL, which measures the pound against a basket of currencies, fell on Monday to its lowest since January last year.

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Brexit tensions - namely the escalating row over Northern Ireland's status that threatens to upend British trade ties with the European Union - have also hurt the pound.

Worse yet could follow if, as financial markets increasingly expect, the Fed on Wednesday raises its main interest rate by 75 basis points, which would be its biggest increase since 1994, further boosting the dollar at sterling's expense.

The central banks of India and Australia have already raised rates by 50 basis points, the latter coming as a hawkish surprise to investors.

"If the Bank starts to lag behind, then that would probably increase the downward pressure on the pound," said Paul Dales, chief UK economist at Capital Economics.

"That would actually influence the Bank of England's projections for its inflation target in three to four years time, which is what it's aiming for," he added.

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