Sterling tumbles as solid U.S. payrolls data firms Fed rate-hike view

·2-min read
Illustration shows British Pound banknotes

LONDON (Reuters) -The British pound fell over 1% against the dollar on Friday after a stronger-than-expected U.S. nonfarm payrolls report cemented the case for another super-sized U.S. rate hike.

While the Bank of England lifted rates by 50 basis points on Thursday, raising the key rate by the most in 27 years, its rate-hiking pace has been slower than that of the U.S. Federal Reserve.

So, not only has it been hard for sterling to benefit from UK monetary tightening but the currency has also been hurt but the BoE's bearish view on the economy.

Sterling, which fell on the BoE's outlook on Thursday, took another leg lower after Friday's data showed U.S. nonfarm payrolls increased by 528,000 jobs last month. The data was much higher than forecast.

The pound was last down 1.06% at $1.20295, having touched a 10-day low at $1.2004 just after the U.S. data. It was also set to end the week lower after two straight weeks of increases.

Against the euro, the pound slipped 0.2% to 84.41 pence. It fell 0.64% on Thursday, its biggest one-day fall since June 14.

The BoE said on Thursday the economy would slip into recession at the end of 2022 and not emerge until 2024.

Analysts predict that the gloomy outlook, coupled with the BoE's resolve to fight inflation, which the bank expects to hit 13%, is likely to keep sterling under pressure.

"For the pound, that is not a positive when the central bank is raising rates into a recession as that raises the outlook for a sharp slowdown," said Lee Hardman, currency analyst at MUFG in London.

"We remain bearish on the pound. But a lot of that is priced in and the pound is being driven by global risk sentiment."

(Reporting by Samuel Indyk, additional reporting by Dhara Ranasinghe; Editing by Kim Coghill and Mark Heinrich)

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