Sterling holds above US$1.30 as dollar weakness outweighs GDP slump

A pedestrian shelters under an umbrella as she walks past a money exchange sign in central London, Britain January 16, 2017. — Reuters  pic
A pedestrian shelters under an umbrella as she walks past a money exchange sign in central London, Britain January 16, 2017. — Reuters pic

LONDON, Aug 12 — Sterling held above US$1.30 (RM5.45) today, clinging on to recent gains on the back of dollar weakness, which outweighed the impact of a record drop in Britain’s economic output.

The economy shrank by 20.4 per cent between April and June, when the country’s coronavirus lockdown was tightest, data showed today, representing the largest contraction reported by any major economy so far.

“The direction of the print was never in doubt. The drop-off... may be accounted for, in part, by the timing of the lockdown as compared with other economies,” said Kieran Cleere, Director of Market Risk Solutions at Silicon Valley Bank.

Sterling was steady at US$1.3048, close to the five-month high of near US$1.32 it rose to last week, and at 90.02 pence against the euro.

June’s GDP data, meanwhile, offered the first window into the recovery as restrictions eased and the economy began to recoup of the losses, growing 8.7 per cent month-on-month.

“The easier post-lockdown economic gains may soon be realised and so markets will be looking to establish how much of this momentum will be sustained,” Cleere said.

Kit Juckes, macro strategist at Societe Generale, said sterling/dollar would most likely be determined by the direction of the US currency rather than by economic developments in Britain. — Reuters

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