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Pound Falls As BoE Vlieghe Suggests Loose Policy In No-deal Brexit

The pound declined against its major counterparts in the European session on Thursday, as investors awaited U.K. Parliamentary vote on Prime Minister Theresa May's latest Brexit motion and as Bank of England policy maker Gertjan Vlieghe remarked that monetary policy could be retained or even eased in the event of a no-deal scenario.

Speaking at the Resolution Foundation think-tank, Gertjan Vlieghe said that the appropriate pace of monetary tightening is likely to be slower than he judged last year, when he believed one or two quarter-point rate hikes a year was the most likely central case.

There was "considerable uncertainty" around the rate outlook, driven by global economic slowdown and weak domestic growth, Vlieghe said.

"I feel I can probably wait to see evidence of growth stabilising and inflation pressure rising before considering the next hike in Bank Rate," he said.

"In the case of a no-deal scenario, I judge that an easing or an extended pause in monetary policy is more likely to be the appropriate policy response than a tightening," he added.

On the Brexit front, MPs will vote on a government motion to "reiterate the support for the approach to leaving the EU expressed by this House on January 29, 2019" and to note that "discussions between the UK and the EU on the Northern Ireland backstop are ongoing."

The currency rose against its major counterparts in the Asian session, excepting the euro.

The pound depreciated to weekly low of 0.8804 against the euro, from a high of 0.8754 hit at 5:30 pm ET. Next key support for the pound is seen around the 0.90 region.

Preliminary data from the Federal Statistical Office showed that Germany's economy stagnated in the fourth quarter of 2018, thus it avoided a technical recession, which is two consecutive quarters of contraction.

Gross domestic product was unchanged from the third quarter, when the economy shrunk 0.2 percent. Economists were looking for a modest increase of 0.1 percent.

The U.K. currency slipped to 1.2799 against the greenback, its lowest since January 15. This follows a high of 1.2878 seen at 2:00 am ET. The pound is poised to find support around the 1.26 level

After rising to 143.03 against the yen at 2:00 am ET, the pound reversed direction and dipped to a 2-day low of 142.15. On the downside, 140.00 is likely seen as the next support level for the pound.

Data from the Cabinet Office showed that Japan's gross domestic product expanded a seasonally adjusted 0.3 percent on quarter in the fourth quarter of 2018.

That was shy of expectations for a gain of 0.4 percent following the 0.6 percent contraction in the three months prior.

The pound weakened to a 2-day low of 1.2909 against the Swiss franc, after rising to 1.2981 at 2:00 am ET. If the pound drops further, 1.28 is possibly seen as its next support level.

Looking ahead, Canada manufacturing sales and new housing price index for December, U.S. weekly jobless claims for the week ended February 9, retail sales for December, business inventories for November and producer price index for January are due in the New York session.

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