GBP/USD Exchange Rate Steady ahead of UK GDP Figures
The Pound US Dollar (GBP/USD) exchange rate is holding its ground at the start of this week’s session as markets brace for publication of the UK’s latest GDP estimate.
At the time of writing the GBP/USD exchange rate is trading at around $1.2928, virtually unchanged from today’s opening rate.
Pound (GBP) to Slump as UK Growth Stagnates?
The Pound (GBP) looks poised to slump on Tuesday as the UK publishes its latest GDP figures.
Barring a significant uptick in economic activity in December, tomorrow’s estimate of GDP is expected to show that the UK economy stalled in the last quarter of 2019.
The likely stagnation of growth comes amid heightened political uncertainty in the UK in the run up to December’s general election.
Should growth have stalled in line with expectations in the fourth quarter, it’s also likely to keep the pressure on the Bank of England (BoE) to ease it monetary policy in the near-term, potentially opening the door to an interest rate cut in March.
Coronavirus Fears to Underpin Demand for the US Dollar (USD)?
Meanwhile, the US Dollar (USD) looks likely to remain well supported this week as markets continue to panic over the coronavirus outbreak in China.
While reports of new cases are beginning to slow, the global death toll has now risen to over 900 topping that of the Sars outbreak in 2003, which was estimated to have cost the global economy over $30bn.
Economists predict that the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on global growth will be significantly more serve due to China’s greater role in global trade, but it remains unclear just how large an impact this will be.
Neil Wilson, Chief Market Analyst at Markets.com comments:
‘New cases in China are stabilising but it’s now more deadly than SARS was. What’s still unknown is the real economic damage this has wrought. Markets will continue to find support from ample liquidity delivered by willing central banks and the buy-the-dip mentality lives on.
‘An explosion of cases in London or New York could spook traders still…the UK government calls the coronavirus a ‘serious and imminent threat’ to public health.’
As a result is highly likely the US Dollar will remain in demand this week as investors continue to flock to safe-haven assets.