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LONDON MARKETS: 'Shock' Bank Of England Rate-cut Talk Sends British Pound Below Key Level

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09/27/2019 | 05:41am EST

By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch

The British pound came under pressure after a Bank of England official thought to be a hawk on interest rates suggested rates may need reducing.

Michael Saunders, who in 2017 voted for rate hikes, said in a speech that "persistently high uncertainty," even if the U.K. reaches a deal with the European Union, will make it "probably" appropriate to maintain an expansionary monetary policy "and perhaps to loosen further."

"This came as a shock - Saunders is known as a hawk, but his stance here was very dovish," said Ricardo Evangelista, senior analyst at ActivTrades.

The pound fell under $1.23 for the first time in three weeks, sliding to $1.2286 from $1.2323 on Thursday.

The pound's weakness by contrast spurred gains for the FTSE 100 , with the stock market index rising 0.79% to 7409.24.

Gains were led by Pearson (PSON.LN) , which despite a 3% advance is still much lower than where it stood before warning on U.S. higher education revenue on Thursday.

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
EURO / BRITISH POUND (EUR/GBP) 0.11% 0.8564 Delayed Quote.-4.87%
FTSE 100 INDEX 0.28% 7234.11 End-of-day quote.0.00%
PEARSON PLC -1.19% 678.4 Delayed Quote.-27.71%
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