As Ireland bailout looms, Sterling drops

andres del risco

Friday saw the markets experience a great deal of volatility. Sterling’s recent gains against the euro took a knock as speculation that Ireland had been thrown a lifeline in the form of a bailout quelled some fears about debt problems facing some of the euro zone countries. Yet Ireland’s finance ministry said talk of a bailout was untrue and a European commission spokesman said Ireland had not requested financial aid from the EU.

Either way, traders took reassurances from the EU and G20 that bondholders would not have to take a write-down on Irish debt helped the single currency retrace some of its earlier week’s losses. Sterling started the session trading at the day’s high of €1.1831 but after the news, dropped down to the day’s low of €1.1687. However the end of day saw the Sterling trading near the €1.1787 level.

The pound gained nearly 2% against the single currency during the week. "There is still room for more pressure on the euro, but given how far we've moved this week and the possibility that something could be agreed (on Ireland) over the weekend, this will make people wary of continuing with their positions," said Steve Barrow, currency strategist at Standard Bank.

The issues with Ireland could also been seen as sterling negative as there is talk the UK could be involved in some kind of bailout for Ireland as we may see some UK banks exposed. Consumer confidence for the UK fell in October to 52 against expectations of 54… this is the lowest since March 2009.

The euro also saw pressure after Germany released their GDP figures for Q3. The figure fell to 0.7% against expectations of 0.8% and YoY this figure was down to 3.9% against the last release of 4.3%. The European Union also released their GDP figure which fell to 0.4% against market expectations of 0.5% with the YoY figure showing no change at 1.9%. The weak euro zone data continued as the European Monetary Union also released weaker industrial production which came in at -0.9% for September against predictions of 0.5%.Against the dollar sterling started the session trading near the day’s low of $1.5987 yet gained ground in the afternoon session to end the day at the high of $1.6174.

This week investor’s focus will be on the inflation data expected to show price pressures remaining elevated. Bank of England minutes will also assist in giving more clues on the view of policymakers about where the risks are to the economy.

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As Ireland bailout looms, Sterling drops

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