LONDON, April 30 (Reuters) – The pound slipped against the dollar and euro on Friday, as traders awaited the Bank of England’s policy meeting next week.
Sterling fell by as much fell as 0.7%, on course for its worst day in over a month, and by 1410 GMT was at $1.3853.
The losses marked a retreat from a nine-day high on Thursday, as the dollar rebounded from the lowest level in nine weeks, plumbed after the U.S. Federal Reserve squashed expectation of any shift in its monetary policy.
The dollar was last up 0.4% against a basket of major currencies, and on course to narrowly avoid a fourth straight weekly decline. Analysts said profit-taking on dollar short positions helped to lift the currency.
Versus the euro, the pound lost 0.1% to 87.01 pence, pinned in the narrow range it has traded for most of this month .
Few analysts expect major changes to the Bank of England’s policy settings next Thursday, although some see the central bank slowing its bond-buying.
“A slower pace of purchases is possible,” said Stephen Gallo, European Head of FX Strategy at BMO Capital Markets.
“What is less likely is that they commit to ending the programme early,” he added, referring to quantitative easing (QE).
Deutsche Bank analysts said there was a low likelihood of any tapering until the extent of Britain’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 becomes clearer.
“Our base case is that the MPC (monetary policy committee) delays any QE taper to June,” Deutsche Bank analysts wrote. “This should give the committee confidence around the recovery.”
Sterling advanced by the least of all the G10 currencies versus the dollar in April, MUFG analysts wrote, but said the pound could make gains as Britain’s economy comes back to life from the COVID-19 lockdowns.
“We see scope for further gains with high frequency data suggesting a faster and more vigorous recovery lies ahead,” they wrote. “Any GBP weakness next week on a failure to taper is unlikely to last.”
(Reporting by Tom Wilson, Editing by William Maclean and Barbara Lewis)