The Bank of England maintained interest rates at 0.75% with a 9-0 vote.
Equities continued to lose ground with the global benchmark index at 15-month lows as markets fretted over the global growth outlook.
Growth concerns also unsettled the dollar, especially with fears that Wall Street losses would trigger capital outflows and expose the dollar to a sustained liquidation of long positions.
In contrast, there was structural Euro support despite the lack of yield support.
The Swedish krona strengthened after the Riksbank increased interest rates.
Oil prices were again undermined by concerns over weak demand and over-supply with only a tentative recovery from 15-month lows.
November UK retail sales increased 1.4% compared with consensus expectations of 0.3% with annual growth at 3.6% from a revised 2.4% previously, although there were seasonal distortions and the CBI reported a sharp dip in sales for December with companies expecting no growth for January.
The Bank of England maintained interest rates at 0.75% with a 9-0 vote. The bank stated that Brexit uncertainties had intensified and that downside risks to the global growth outlook had increased. Headline inflation could decline to below 2.0% early next year given lower oil prices, but domestic pressures were increasing. Overall, a gradual tightening of policy was still appropriate, but GBP/USD retreated from 1.2700 highs.
The government confirmed that the key Brexit vote is due on January 15th as underlying uncertainty remained extremely high. Markets were braced for year-end positioning and a decline in liquidity. According to the latest surveys consumer confidence declined to the lowest level since July 2013 with the Lloyds business barometer at a 30-month low maintaining concerns surrounding the impact of Brexit uncertainty. GBP/EUR traded close to 1.1050 on Friday, although GBP/USD traded above 1.2650 on US losses.
|09:30||GBP Total Business Investment (Q/Q)||-1.20%||-1.20%|
|09:30||GBP Current Account||-21.2B||-20.3B|
|09:30||United Kingdom GDP (Q/Q)||0.60%||0.60%|
|09:30||United Kingdom GDP (Y/Y)||1.50%||1.50%|
|13:30||USD Durable Goods Orders (M/M)(NOV)||1.80%||-4.30%|
|13:30||USD Durable Goods Orders Ex Transportation(NOV)||0.30%||0.20%|
|13:30||USD GDP (Annualized)||3.50%||3.50%|
|13:30||USD GDP Price Index (Q/Q)||1.40%||1.40%|
|13:30||CAD Retail Sales Ex Autos (M/M)(OCT)||0.30%||0.10%|
|13:30||CAD Retail Sales (M/M)(OCT)||0.60%||0.20%|
|13:30||CAD GDP (M/M)(OCT)||0.20%||-0.10%|
|15:00||USD PCE Core Price Index (Y/Y)(NOV)||1.90%||1.80%|
|15:00||USD PCE Core Price Index(M/M)(NOV)||0.20%||0.10%|
|15:00||USD Michigan Consumer Sentiment(DEC 08)||97.6||97.5|
|15:00||USD Personal Spending (M/M)(NOV)||0.30%||0.60%|
|15:00||USD Personal Income (M/M)(NOV)||0.30%||0.50%|
|15:00||BoC Business Outlook Survey||-||-|
|15:00||Personal Consumption Expenditures PI (YoY)||-||2.00%|
|15:00||Personal Consumption Expenditures PI (MoM)||-||0.20%|