After the ‘flash crash’, London currency experts give their gloomy predictions for the pound
Sterling may have already seen a dramatic slump in the past few months, but a number of analysts have predicted more pain for the U.K. currency and expect it to plunge further on the back of uncertainty around Brexit negotiations.
The pound is currently trading at 1.228 against the dollar and is down by more than 16 percent since the start of the year.
CNBC spoke to a number of analysts to find out how much further the pound can go:
"I expect sterling to continue to be the lightening rod of broad market uncertainty. Although net GBP shorts may be near the extremes, we would expect the positional skew to extend further taking GBP/USD back to 1.1885."
"While the prime minister may continue to argue that she is not going to give a running commentary on the U.K.'s negotiating strategy, the mood post the Conservative conference is far from encouraging. We can expect (U.K. Finance Minister) Philip Hammond to continue to attempt to reassure financial market participants of the importance of the sector amidst his desire to get an optimal deal. For now, the portents do not look good. With the fiscal backdrop set to deteriorate, it is unsurprising that investors are reconsidering their options as regards holding U.K. government paper."
"Brexit risks will dominate the outlook for sterling for at least two years – or until the U.K. finally exits the EU. As it stands, sterling will probably move sideways heading into 2017 after the recent major declines. However, risks are heavily tilted to the downside. The path for sterling will be determined by the noise about and the substance of the Brexit negotiations. If the U.K. and the (EU member nations) clash noisily or the U.K. goes for a 'hard Brexit', sterling will take another leg down. If negotiations go well and U.K. economic growth continues to exceed expectations, sterling could stage a recovery."
"In a 'hard Brexit' scenario we see the pound going to parity against the euro and potentially even lower. This is our base case scenario after (U.K. Prime Minister) Theresa May took an unrealistic and antagonistic stance vs. the EU at Birmingham (party conference)."
"Our call that GBP/USD would fall to 1.20 by (the first quarter of) 2017 is looking a bit out of date, as we could be down to 1.20 before the U.S. election at this rate. The fact that the pound has continued falling this week suggests that Friday's flash crash was more than just a digital fat finger trade, instead it appears that the pound is becoming toxic for traders and the selling pressure could continue to build."
"The revision to our forecasts are as followed: Short –term GBP/USD: $1.20, long- term (6 months) $1.15."
"Since the referendum I expected the pound to go to around $1.20 but it could easily go to parity for the 2nd time (as memory serves), though I wouldn't expect this to happen in the immediate future. But if this government is determined to pursue a 'hard Brexit' and the U.S. (Federal Reserve) manages to raise interest rates next year, there's a sporting chance that sterling could be everyone's favourite bear trade. Parity or close would be more risk premium than fundamental value, but there's a lot of risk to price in."
"I think the shock of the flash crash and possibly the surprise that the pound is still trading below $1.23 has forced people to reassess their short and long term outlook over the last few days. Clearly the realistic prospect of a 'hard Brexit' was not being priced in and unless the rhetoric dramatically changes, I don't expect a major recovery in the pound now. That said, in the short term, I think further downside could be relatively low, with the pound perhaps finding a floor between 1.20 and 1.23 (against the dollar)."
"The longer term outlook will depend on one other remaining unknown, how the economy will fare in the coming quarters. The recent data appears to have lulled people into a false sense of security and so a downturn in the data, maybe a contraction in (the third quarter) or (the fourth quarter) could trigger another bout of weakness for sterling, possibly sending it back towards 1.15 (against the dollar). I think it will take something quite significant to take us back to 1.10, be it an unexpected recession or a breakdown in negotiations following the triggering of 'Article 50', although the latter could trigger even larger declines."
"The consensus of forecasters has become less bearish of late, with some who previously predicted that the pound would see a renewed drop to parity with the euro and close to parity with the dollar changing tack."
"While our current view sees such declines as being very unlikely, a further weakening in the pound is anticipated over the next six months, reflecting uncertainty in the run-up to the triggering of 'Article 50', which we expect will happen early next year. In the current Oxford Economics forecast, the pound drops to $1.28 by the end of 2016 (compared to a pre-referendum forecast of $1.44) and ends 2017 and 2018 at $1.29 and $1.32 respectively. Our expectation for the next twelve months leaves us very close to the median view among forecasters."
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