Brexit was less of an influence on the pound this week; the postponement of Article 50 for six months means there is less urgency around the issue, and the parliamentary recess means there is little news on developments. This left a greater focus on the ecostats than has been seen in recent months and the spectre of Brexit still hovered behind some.
The Office of National Statistics (ONS) announced that inflation remained stable at 1.9%. This was against a forecast of 2%, the rate at which the Bank of England (BoE) targets inflation, and this eases the pressure on the BoE to raise interest rates from the 0.75% that they have been at since August 2018. As the BoE remains cautious about the as-yet unknown impact of Brexit, the numbers from the ONS were good news, allowing the central bank to stay their course.
In general, this week, the pound has been trending lower; there appears to be a sense of apathy as the shorter week for the Easter break, combined with the lack of news about Brexit, meant there was nothing to drive sterling. There have been short bursts of gains during the week, but in general all these were given back to create an overall downward motion.
There isn’t likely to be a hike in interest rates on the horizon and together with the overall slowdown across Europe, it’s unlikely that the euro will make major headway but certainly made gains this week due to meeting forecast and delivering slightly better than expected results.
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