Pound Trades 0.2 Percent near Eight-Week Lows on Weak Economic Reports

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Pound Trades 0.2 Percent near Eight-Week Lows on Weak Economic ReportsThe pound traded 0.2 percent near a eight-week low against the dollar after the Bank of England policy makers retained the benchmark interest rate at 0.5 percent – – a record-low- – after concluding their two-day policy meeting. The target rate has remained at 0.5 percent since March 2009.

The pound remained slightly unchanged at $1.6844 at 4:07 p.m. in London after earlier hitting $1.6814 on August 4, the weakest level since June 12. The UK currency advanced 0.2 percent to trade at 79.28 pence per euro.

The BOE officials, who have consistently voted to retain the benchmark rate since Governor Mark Carney held his first Monetary Policy Committee gathering in July 2013, are expected to revise UK’s economic outlook next week. The market is also eagerly waiting for next week jobs data that is expected to show that UK’s unemployment rate fell.

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“The next big U.K.-related point of interest is going to be the labor market data next week and the Bank of England’s inflation report,” Daragh Maher, a London-based foreign-exchange strategist at HSBC Holdings Plc, told Bloomberg. Sterling’s direction is “broadly moving sideways but if we get better U.S. numbers out over the next couple of weeks, that’s going to be more of a driver – how much dollar enthusiasm there is out there,” he said.

BOE officials also retained their asset-purchase goal at 375 billion pounds, in line with analysts’ expectations.

The pound fell while gilts rose on Wednesday after data showed that manufacturing and industrial output grew less than expected in June, fuelling speculation the Britain’s economy isn’t growing stronger than expected. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.

To contact the reporter of this story; Jonathan Millet at john@forexminute.com