The pound took heavy losses against the dollar on Monday after a data release showing that economic growth had reached a seven-year low in November. The pound fell 0.7% against the dollar at one point and 0.75% against the euro. The UK economy only grew by 0.6% from the previous year, which is less than the 1% in October and the weakest since June 2012.
Bank of England policy makers have already said they are open to cutting rates if necessary, which has caused the pound to fall as investors see more evidence to strengthen the central bank’s cause. Though November was a politically uncertain time for the UK, this did not give investors enough confidence in the economic recovery that was suggested after the government’s election victory.
Some analysts assigned a 50% chance of a rate cut by the end of this month and an 85% chance of a rate cut by the end of May.
GBPUSD opened at 1.2999 and fell sharply to a low of 1.2966 around midday. In the afternoon it recovered very slightly to close at 1.2980
GBPEUR opened at 1.1689 and fell to 1.1659 by midday. An afternoon recovery was short-lived as the pair reached a low of 1.1654 shortly after closing
The dollar index was steady on Monday as investors prepared themselves for a week heavy with economic data. Today there will be consumer price data and on Thursday there will be retail sales data. Safe haven currencies also took losses in light of the imminent signing of a trade deal between the US and China. The phase 1 trade deal will likely be signed on Wednesday and should mark the end of the 18-month trade war between the two countries.
The Chinese yuan hit a five-month high against the dollar and the Australian dollar also gained 0.1% against its US rival.
EURUSD opened at 1.1123 and fell to a morning low of 1.1116 before picking up sharply in the afternoon to close at a high of 1.1140