* Graphic: Sterling and gilt yields bit.ly/2dgAXn1
* Graphic: World FX rates in 2017 tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
* Graphic: Trade-weighted sterling since Brexit vote tmsnrt.rs/2hwV9Hv
By Ritvik Carvalho
LONDON, March 9 Sterling fell broadly against
other major currencies on Thursday after the European Central
Bank said euro zone economic growth and prices did not now need
immediate support, while concerns about the British economic
outlook also weighed.
ECB President Mario Draghi on Thursday said the bank would
continue its aggressive stimulus policy at least until the end
of this year. But he said the ECB no longer felt a "sense of
urgency" about taking further steps to prop up growth and
inflation in the euro zone.
The pound was already lower earlier in the day as investors
brushed off Britain's Wednesday budget as a "non-event" that
would do little to boost growth as the country prepares to leave
A surge in euro-buying following Draghi's remarks pushed the
pound down to fresh seven-week lows of 87.19 pence per euro
, and $1.2134.
The ECB's leadership has faced calls from Germany to start
winding down its 2.3 trillion euro ($2.43 trillion) bond-buying
scheme, or at least signal its intention to do so as the euro
zone's economy recovers.
The Frankfurt-based central bank nonetheless stuck to its
plan to continue the purchases until December. It also pledged
to keep interest rates at current, record-low levels until long
after that, or even cut them if necessary.
Sterling was last trading down 0.4 percent at 86.69 pence
per euro, and 0.1 percent lower at $1.2160. It has fallen nine
times in the last ten trading days, as downbeat UK economic data
and talk of a fresh Scottish independence referendum have
created uncertainty for investors in the run-up to Britain's
divorce talks with the European Union.
Scotland could hold a second referendum on independence in
the autumn of 2018, just months before Britain is due to leave
the European Union, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told
the BBC. A second poll in a month suggested growing support for
"There are concerns over the medium term in terms of the
Brexit negotiations but also just broadly the path of UK macro,"
said Richard Cochinos, head of European G10 FX strategy at
Citigroup in London.
The market was likely reaffirming its conviction in this
view after the ECB's announcement, he said.
"Compared to Europe or the US, or all your other major
economies, where we've continually seen data surprises to the
top-side, the weakness in the UK really does stand out."
(Editing by Hugh Lawson)