DEUTSCHE BANK: The pound could fall another 16% as Brexit unfolds

No need for panic. Picture: Millennium Films

The pound’s post-Brexit vote downturn is nowhere near done yet, and the UK’s currency could fall by as much as 16% more, according to one of Deutsche Bank’s most senior staff dealing with foreign exchange.

Speaking to Bloomberg TV on Tuesday morning Deutsche’s global co-head of FX research, George Saravelos said that the bank sees sterling falling to as low as 1.05 against the dollar, as the “incredibly complicated” nature of Brexit becomes ever more clear.

“The UK is one market where we have stronger views in terms of where currencies are going,” Saravelos told Bloomberg TV’s Francine Lacqua on Tuesday morning. “Being negative on the pound — bearish sterling — is one of our strongest views.”

Saravelos continued:

“Even though intentions are quite positive on both sides, we’re very concerned about the lack of time to complete a deal in two years, and we worry that negotiations will get stuck around this issue of the payment which the UK has to make to leave the EU, and things will stall quite quickly.

“That’s one of the reasons we’re so negative on the pound.”

Then, replying to a question from Bloomberg’s Tom Keene, Saravelos confirmed Deutsche Bank’s latest bearish call on the pound, saying:

“We’re looking for a move below $US1.10, to $US1.08 or $US1.05, and the drivers are — on the one hand they’re political — as I mentioned the market will worry that we’ll get a ‘cliff Brexit’ and that we won’t have enough time to reach this incredibly complicated agreement within two years.”

Should sterling fall to $US1.05, that would represent a further 15.8% depreciation from its price on Tuesday.

Saravelos’ comments came soon after the Office for National Statistics released its latest inflation data, which showed headline inflation grew less than expected in January. Consumer price inflation figure was at 1.8% against the 1.9% forecast by economists. That news sent the pound lower.

Since the Brexit referendum Deutsche Bank has consistently been one of the more pessimistic major banks when it comes to sterling, frequently forecasting further losses for Britain’s currency as the realities of leaving the EU hit home. In December,macro strategist Oliver Harvey predicted a further fall in the pound, with political risks in Europe and the possibility for further weakness in China’s renminbi, should the Chinese government continue to devalue it in order to make exports even more competitive, as worries for Britain.

“Sterling is vulnerable to a higher USD/CNY. GBP underperforms during periods of capital outflows due to its heavy share in Chinese reserves. These have picked up to the largest levels since January and our Asia strategist forecast more weakness for the renminbi into the new year,” he wrote.

Not only is sterling set to fall against the dollar, but it could also tumble to parity with the euro.

“Our strategists are pricing in more weakness to come. Again, we’ve gone a long way, and yet the uncertainty that the Article 50 procedure is likely to bring further weakness,” UBS Investment Bank Chief European Economist Reinhard Cluse told a meeting attended by Business Insider in January.

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