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Sterling begins to slide as economic data comes out weaker than expected.

Following the confirmation of Article 50 (March 15th) and the back and forth between the House of Commons & House of Lords last week, the only thing left to weaken off the Pound was economic data, and this was done on Friday morning after the release of UK PMI (Purchasing Manager Index) data. Since the Brexit vote, no matter what has happened politically, the stance from the media has been that the UK economy has remained resilient through the process so far (My issue with this is that the process is still yet to begin). After Friday’s data release it seems the stance has now changed, it has now set the tone for the rest of the month and to be completely transparent, it doesn’t look great data-wise for the Pound.

Moving onto this week, there isn’t much data expected until Thursday so I am expecting to see the current sell-off on the Pound continue. Over the last month, French election polls have propped up the GBPEUR exchange rates, but the most recent opinion polls have shown that Marine Le Pen has begun to lose traction- personally I see no real value in opinion polls but it seems the market still does!

On Thursday, the most important part of the day will be the ECB rate decision at 12:45, there is no change expected as far as interested rates are concerned, but investors will be keen to hear what Mario Draghi will have to say in reference to monetary policy and the ECB’s stance on recent political events that may affect the markets.

On Friday morning (09:30) there is a host of UK economic data to be released such as Industrial & Manufacturing production, construction output and trade balance data. Now here is the bad news, every single piece of data is expected to come out weak. Now as we all know it is not foreign for data to come out differently to expectations, but I would suggest it is worth steering clear of Friday morning as there is no evidence to suggest that this data will come out differently.

Later on Friday (13:30) we will see the release of the infamously unpredictable Non Farm Payrolls data out of the U.S, if you are currently buying or selling Dollars, you will know that the trend is that the GBPUSD exchange rate is on it’s way down, we’ve seen it go from 1.25 down to 1.22 in a week! If you haven’t already it may be time to start considering locking in exchange rates moving forward.

It is also important to add that Scotland is pushing for another independence referendum and are hoping to get a date set this month itself, if there is another referendum the expectation is that Scotland will leave and the Pound will weaken on this news.

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