February 21, 2017 / 10:00 AM / 6 months ago

Sterling subdued ahead of Bank of England team's testimony

* 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 Marc Jones

LONDON, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Sterling fell against the dollar but made ground versus the euro on Tuesday, before Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and a number of his chief lieutenants testify in Britain's parliament.

The pound has been relatively steady compared with last year's slump, but recent data suggest that consumer confidence may be starting to falter as inflation rises and Britain's negotiations to leave the European Union come closer.

Early trading saw the pound give back some of the gains it had made on Monday. It fell 0.3 percent to $1.2423, though it fared better against the euro at 84.91 pence as nerves about Marine Le Pen's popularity in France kept pressure on the shared currency.

Britain's upper house of parliament was holding a second day of debate over Brexit, but Carney's appearance at a separate committee, alongside the BoE's chief economist and two other policymakers, was the bigger focus.

"We expect BoE officials to stick to their neutral stance, but there may be a little more emphasis on the negative risks, especially with CPI (inflation) not having risen quite as much as feared," said ING's head of FX strategy Chris Turner.

Public debt figures were also published, with pressure expected to remain on Britain's borrowing levels. Revised fourth-quarter gross domestic product figures are due on Wednesday.

Political risk remains the principal driver for the pound, though, and is expected to intensify once formal Brexit negotiations start, probably in April.

While the currency has risen around 4 percent against the euro and the likes of the Japanese yen since mid- January, it has been steadily drifting down again against the dollar.

Analysts at Commerzbank said it was consolidating near its 55- and 100-day moving averages of $1.2415/07. A drop below those levels could pave the way for a fresh slide back to mid-January's lows of $1.2253 or even $1.1983.

"We maintain a negative bias (on the pound) but patience is needed," said Commerzbank's Karen Jones. (Reporting by Marc Jones, editing by Larry King)

0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below