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Sterling hovers near 2-1/2 year lows despite robust wage data

Tuesday,   13-Aug-2019   04:24 PM (IST)

Sterling held near a 2-1/2 year low on Tuesday as concerns about a no-deal Brexit dominated sentiment despite data showing wage growth in the United Kingdom rose to an 11-year high. Britain’s labour market showed unexpected strength in the second quarter with total earnings growth, including bonuses, rising by an annual 3.7% in the three months to June, the highest rate since June 2008. Against the dollar, the pound edged 0.1% lower at $1.2066 while it was broadly steady against the euro at 92.79 pence. Strong labour data could put pressure on the Bank of England to hold interest rates. Presently, money markets give a 68% chance of a one quarter point rate cut by end-December. Sentiment towards the pound has taken a beating as some investors have ratcheted up their expectations about a no-deal Brexit while others are expecting increased political uncertainty in the coming months. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who took office last month, has pledged to leave the European Union on Oct. 31 with or without an agreement on the terms of Britain’s departure. The EU has so far said it will not renegotiate a deal reached by his predecessor Theresa May but rejected by the British parliament.