The pound fell the most in more than four weeks after the Bank of England cut interest rates for the first time since March 2009, part of a suite of stimulus measures to help boost the economy after the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union in June.
Sterling dropped at least 1.4 percent against all of its 16 major peers after the nine-member Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously to lower the benchmark rate by 25 basis points to a record-low 0.25 percent. Officials led by Governor Mark Carney increased the central bank’s asset-purchase target for the first time in four years, raising the target by 60 billion pounds ($79 billion) to 435 billion pounds. U.K. government bonds jumped, pushing the 10-year gilt yield to a record low.
The MPC also said it will buy as much as 10 billion pounds of corporate bonds in the next 18 months, though there was disagreement among the nine members about whether quantitative easing was warranted at this stage. Options trading showed the pound could fall further in coming months.
“The BOE clearly is willing to provide an array of stimulus policies because it thinks that the U.K. economy is going to face substantial headwinds from Brexit,” said Peter Frank, global head of Group-of-10 currency strategy at Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA in London. “I think the BOE and the government is keen to see a much weaker pound.”
The pound fell 1.5 percent to $1.3126 as of 4:02 p.m. London time, the steepest decline since July 5, a day before it touched a 31-year low of $1.2798. Sterling weakened 1.4 percent to 84.85 pence per euro.
The decision to cut borrowing costs was forecast by all but two of 52 economists surveyed by Bloomberg, with the majority predicting a 25 basis-point reduction. Before the announcement, swaps pricing showed a 100 percent chance of a cut.
Economists in a separate survey were less certain about the possibility of the BOE announcing further stimulus measures, with 23 of 44 analysts forecasting no change to the the central bank’s quantitative-easing plan.
“We feel this is an appropriate first step and anticipate further easing from the MPC in the coming months as the growth outlook becomes clearer,” said David Zahn, London-based head of European fixed income at Franklin Templeton Investment Management Ltd. “This is good news as it is supportive of the bond market. However, in general this will be slightly bearish for the pound.”
The pound has declined almost 12 percent against the dollar since the nation opted for Brexit, weakening for a third consecutive month in July, as economic consequences of the decision began to surface.
Derivatives trading suggested the pound will weaken further. The premium for three-month options granting the right to sell the currency against the dollar relative to those for buying rose 16 basis points to 1.07 percentage points. That’s still lower than the level on the referendum day when it was 4.13 percentage points.
On a longer-term horizon however, that concern was less pronounced. The premium for 12-month options was little changed at 1.635 percentage points.
Benchmark 10-year gilt yields dropped 16 basis points, or 0.16 percentage point, to 0.64 percent, having earlier touched 0.634 percent. The 2 percent bond due in September 2025 rose 1.505, or 15.05 pounds per 1,000-pound face amount, to 111.985. The nation’s two-year gilt yield fell eight basis points to 0.12 percent, after reaching 0.07 percent, the lowest since July 1.
“So the BOE delivered a dovish surprise as regards QE measures,” said Thu Lan Nguyen, a foreign-exchange strategist at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt. “Only roughly half the market probably had expected an increase of QE, probably less the introduction of corporate bonds. The BOE wants to set a clear signal that it has switched into crisis mode.”
CBN Will Redesign Naira Notes Every Five to Eight Years; Say Emefiele
The central bank will henceforth redesign the nation’s legal tender every five to eight years
Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele has said the bank will henceforth redesign the nation’s legal tender every five to eight years.
The apex bank governor revealed at the unveiling of the new naira notes on Tuesday.
Godwin Emefiele explained that the naira redesign is in line with global best practice noting that the naira needed to be redesigned and re-issued every five to eight years.
According to the CBN governor, previous administrations lacked the political will to approve the redesign of the naira notes. Stating that it is regrettable that the naira has not been redesigned for the past 19 years.
“In the past, I have to confess that attempts by the CBN to redesign and re-issue the naira notes have been resisted. It is only President Muhammadu Buhari that has exhibited the courage to do so,” the CBN governor stated.
Emefiele added that going forward, naira notes will be redesigned at intervals to address some peculiar issues.
“After today, the CBN will begin to redesign and reissue the naira every five to eight years,” he said.
Investors King had earlier reported that President Muhammadu Buhari unveiled the redesigned naira notes at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting today.
Among those who joined the president with the unveiling include the CBN governor and the EFCC chairman.
Recall, in October, the CBN announced it will redesign the N200, N500 and N1,000 notes in line with its mandate.
Meanwhile, the CBN governor has disclosed that the new naira notes can not be counterfeited because of the features embedded in them.
Similarly, he added that security agencies would be monitoring people making withdrawals at the counter to sniff out money laundering and unravel illegal usage.
“The CBN has moved to a cashless economy. We will restrain the volume of cash someone will withdraw over the counter. We will follow up with the person’s data to know the reason for such withdrawal,” he concluded.
President Buhari Unveils New Redesigned Naira Notes, See Pictures
Buhari launched the new naira notes as the CBN forges ahead with redesign plans.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday unveiled the new redesigned Naira notes at the State House in Abuja following a series of sensitisation to ensure that Nigerians are aware of the deadline for the old notes.
Godwin Emefiele, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, who was also present at the launching explained that the redesigned notes would help curb counterfeit, reduce hoarding and support the apex bank’s cashless policy.
Earlier in October, the central bank announced it was redesigning the N200, N500 and N1,000 notes in line with its mandate. The apex bank further stated that the newly redesigned notes would be available on December 15, 2022.
However, Emefiele later announced the central bank won’t wait until December 15th before unveiling the new notes on November 2023.
He said, “100 days is enough for any person from any part of Nigeria to deposit his money in the bank and get his money when the new notes are released.
“For information, indeed, we are no longer waiting till December 15th to unveil and begin to release the new notes.
“By the special grace of God, tomorrow, which is the 23rd of November 2022, the President has graciously accepted to unveil the new currencies and the new currencies will be unveiled tomorrow at the Federal Executive Chamber by 10am.”
Meanwhile, the central bank-led monetary policy committee raised interest rates by another 100 basis points from 15.5% to 16.5%. Bringing the total increase in 2022 to 500 basis points despite the challenges Nigerians are facing amid weak job creation and poor earnings.
The committee claimed the decision was based on the rising inflation rate that rose to 21.09% in October. However, given Nigeria’s economic structure and current situation, the persistent increase was mainly to lure foreign investors to invest in the economy against the developed economies that are equally raising rates to curb escalating inflation.
President Buhari to Launch New Naira Notes Today
CBN says Buhari is expected to introduce redesigned naira notes to the public today at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja.
Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari is expected to launch the redesigned naira notes today at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja.
The launch will precede the circulation of the affected currency which is billed for December 15, 2022. The FEC meeting is a weekly (Wednesday) meeting of the executive arm of government often presided over by the President or the Vice President.
The Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele disclosed on the sidelines of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting held in Abuja on Tuesday, that the new naira notes will be displayed for public view on Wednesday.
Therefore, the governor added that the CBN will not shift its deadline for all old notes to be returned to commercial banks in exchange for newly designed ones.
Investors King recalls that in October 2022, the central bank announced it will issue redesigned N200, N500, and N1,000 notes, effective December 15, 2022, while the new and existing currencies will remain legal tender and circulate together until January 31, 2023.
However, in a sudden change of schedule, the CBN governor noted that the unveiling will be done by the president today stating that the bank will no longer wait till December 15th to unveil and begin to release the new notes.
” By the special grace of God, tomorrow, (today) which is the 23rd of November 2022, the President has graciously accepted to unveil the new currencies and the new currencies will be unveiled tomorrow at the Federal Executive Chamber by 10am.” Emefiele started.
Meanwhile, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) which is the highest decision-making body for any issues related to Nigerian monetary policy has hiked the interest rates from 15.5 percent to 16.5 percent.
According to CBN, the hike in interest rate is to curtain inflation and maintain economic stability.
Speaking at the end of a two-day Monetary Policy Committee meeting yesterday, the CBN governor noted that the MPC voted to retain the cash reserve ratio at 32.5 percent and the liquidity ratio at 30 percent.
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