Sterling slides after poor retail sales

The pound is off against the US dollar after the UK reported worse-than-expected retail sales.

This morning, the UK revealed that retail sales dropped by 1.3% in April compared with March, which put pressure on the pound. Not only is it a sign that the UK economy is weak, it also increases the likelihood of more quantitative easing (QE) from the Bank of England (BoE).

The latest minutes from the BoE were also announced this morning; six members voted in favour of keeping the QE scheme the same and three members voted in favour of expanding it. If the UK continues to announce poor economic indicators we might see more members of the BoE voting in favour of increasing QE, which could weaken the pound.

At 7pm, the Federal Reserve will release its latest set of minutes. Its QE programme has been in place for longer than the BoE’s, and there has been some talk of winding it down as the US economy is getting stronger. If the Fed gives any indication that it might reduce its stimulus package, we could see dealers sell the pound in favour of the dollar.

Spot FX EUR/USD chart

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