Sterling steady as hopes of Tory election win overshadows weak data

Sterling was last down marginally at US$1.2834. Against the euro, the pound was flat at 85.72 pence. — Reuters pic
Sterling was last down marginally at US$1.2834. Against the euro, the pound was flat at 85.72 pence. — Reuters pic

LONDON, Nov 13 — The pound was slightly weaker against the US dollar today and stable against the euro, as weak economic data, which should hurt sterling, is more than offset by supportive political developments in Britain.

Average weekly earnings rose at a weaker pace in the three months to September in the UK, but the pound continues to derive support from Monday’s news that the Brexit Party will not contest the seats the Conservative Party won in 2017 at the general election next month.

The move increased the chance that Boris Johnson will stay as prime minister and implement his deal to take Britain out of the European Union.

Optimism was further fuelled by a YouGov poll released yesterday showing Johnson’s Tories had a 14-point lead over the opposition Labour Party.

“The pound is likely to remain well supported as long as the political news-flow pointing to a Tory majority continues,” said Derek Halpenny, head of research at MUFG, but added that “the upside is limited.”

“There is a price to pay for these gains — a promised short transition period that will weigh on sentiment and with the economy set to weaken further as household spending weakens, pound gains will be contained.”

Sterling was last down marginally at US$1.2834 (RM5.33). Against the euro, the pound was flat at 85.72 pence.

Traders will be watching UK inflation data released at 0930 GMT. Economists polled by Reuters expect the consumer price index to fall to 1.6 per cent in October year-on-year from 1.7 per cent in September. — Reuters

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