04.08.202209:06 Forex Analysis & Reviews: Pound signed the death warrant. And the policy of the Bank of England has nothing to do with it.

Exchange Rates 04.08.2022 analysis

The main topic of the day is the increase in interest rates in the UK. If the Bank of England goes on the biggest rise since 1995, the pound will skyrocket. However, its euphoria will be short-lived. Why?

BoE is not omnipotent

Today, the British central bank once again intends to raise interest rates. This will be the sixth increase since December last year.

Recall that at each of its previous meetings on monetary policy, the BoE made a minimum step of 25 bps.

The market is now expecting more hawkish action from the BoE as UK inflation continues to break records. In June, it accelerated to a 40-year high of 9.4%, and so far there is no sign of a peak.

The situation is also aggravated by gloomy forecasts for further price hikes. Many economists are predicting inflation to rise to double digits this year.

In June, the BoE said it would act more decisively if inflationary pressures in the country become more sustainable.

According to analysts, now the BoE has no choice but to fulfill its promise, especially since its colleagues are not dragging their feet.

Since the beginning of the year, the US Federal Reserve has already raised rates four times, and twice - by 75 bps at once.

The European Central Bank only started tightening last month, but its first step was to raise the rate by half a percentage point.

Compared to other central banks, the BoE's policy looks more dovish now. This weakens the pound, as a result of which the cost of living in the country continues to increase.

In order to prevent inflation from taking root in the British economy, the BoE is likely to be forced to go for the largest rate hike in 27 years.

According to many currency strategists, a rise of 50 bps to 1.75% could significantly strengthen the pound's position against the dollar.

Exchange Rates 04.08.2022 analysis

GBP/USD is expected to rise above 1.2170 today after the BoE meeting. However, the pound's rise will be short-lived.

The BoE, which launched the tightening mechanism much earlier than other central banks, delayed the process too much, and this allowed the inflation monster to become very strong.

Now, to defeat the monster, a 50 bps increase won't be enough. Inflation will not start to disappear, as if by magic, and BoE can no longer afford a larger increase in the current situation, when the country's economy is on the verge of a recession.

Far from beautiful

The threat of a recession that hangs over the UK economy is the main argument that the BoE will not risk raising rates by 50 bps at today's meeting.

Some experts expect the BoE to continue to act cautiously, as it has been extremely pessimistic in its latest economic growth forecasts. Recall that the central bank does not expect the UK economy to recover until 2025.

If the central bank does indeed raise rates by just 25 bps this month, despite rising inflation, that would further weaken the pound in the near term.

As for the pound's dynamics in the long term, it does not depend at all on what pace of tightening British officials choose now, UBS is certain.

Swiss bank analysts believe that the future of the pound is already predetermined, and it is not at all rosy. According to their forecasts, this year the GBP will fall to historical lows amid an exacerbation of the gas crisis.

According to UBS, Russia will continue to use energy exports as the main means of pressure on the West. The reduction in the supply of Russian blue fuel will cause huge and irreparable damage to the economies of Europe and the UK.

Electricity bills on the peninsula are expected to rise even more by mid-autumn, leading to another surge in inflation in the country and exacerbating the cost-of-living crisis.

In addition, the pound's growth will be limited by the uncertain political environment in the UK.

Recall that Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned in early July, and now the Conservative Party faces a long search for a successor.

Considering all the negative background that will put strong pressure on the British currency in the next few months, UBS sharply lowered its forecast for the GBP/USD pair.

Analysts expect the pound to fall against the dollar to 1.15 in the fourth quarter. The pound was trading at about this level two years ago when the COVID-19 pandemic shook global markets.

The Swiss bank's forecast is rather surprising, as most other experts believe that the currency will stay at 1.22 until the end of the year as the BoE raises interest rates sharply.

UBS also believes that even the biggest increase in almost three decades this month will not give the pound a solid boost and, moreover, will not serve as a long-term driver for it.

Analysts predict that the pound will be able to recover against the dollar only next year. So, the GBP/USD pair will still be trading at the level of 1.18 in the first quarter, and by June it will be able to rise to the level of 1.20.

lena Ivannitskaya,
Analytical expert of InstaForex
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