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Pound May Fall as US Dollar Gains on First-Quarter GDP Reports

Pound May Fall as US Dollar Gains on First-Quarter GDP Reports

Ilya Spivak, Head Strategist, APAC


  • British Pound may fall as UK GDP data cools BOE rate hike bets
  • US Dollar may rise if upbeat Q1 GDP surprise firms Fed outlook
  • Historic North/South Korea meeting might boost risk sentiment

UK GDP figures headline the economic data docket in European trading hours. The on-year growth rate is expected to print at 1.4 percent in the first quarter, unchanged from the prior period. A disappointing outcome echoing steady deterioration in UK data outcomes relative to forecasts since the start of the year may weigh against near-term BOE rate hike bets, pushing the British Pound downward.

Later in the day, the analogous US GDP report comes into focus. Here, the annualized growth rate is seen ticking down to 2 percent in the first three months of the year from the fourth quarter’s 2.9 percent result. Leading PMI survey data hints at scope for an upside surprise however, which may stoke simmering fears about accelerated Fed tightening and push the US Dollar to a new three-month high.

The Yen edged gently higher in otherwise quiet Asia Pacific trade. While regional bourses picked up on a positive lead form Wall Street and headed higher, S&P 500 futures turned down to signal a risk-off mood lean ahead. The often anti-risk Japanese unit seemed to pick up on that. Anti-QE comments from Internal Affairs Minister Seiko Noda may have helped. A status-quo BOJ policy announcement barely registered.

The dour disposition on display in forward-looking sentiment proxies may reflect Fed-related jitters. Worries about an aggressive rate hike path have proven detrimental to overall risk appetite and the incoming GDP result already be driving a degree of pre-positioning for more of the same. A historic meeting between the leaders of South and North Korea may brighten spirits if signs of rapprochement emerge however.

See our quarterly FX market forecast s to learn what will drive prices through mid-year!



** All times listed in GMT. See the full economic calendar here.


--- Written by Ilya Spivak, Currency Strategist for

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