One chart shows everything that could happen to the pound if the Bank of England cuts interest rates

At Thursday lunchtime, the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee will announce decisions made at its second meeting since the UK voted to leave the European Union, with a cut in interest rates by 25 basis points almost guaranteed to be the outcome, if market expectations are to believed.

Up until today, rates have stood unchanged at 0.5% since 2009, a record 88 months of inaction from the central bank.

Last month, despite being widely expected to cut rates, the governor Mark Carney and his fellow MPC members left policy unchanged, with only one member of the committee, Gertjan Vlieghe, voting for a cut.

One of the most-watched impacts of any potential action — whether in the form of a cut or a possible extension of quantitative easing — will be how the pound reacts to the news. Sterling took off last month when the BoE’s last policy decision was announced, jumping 2% in short order.

The pound crashed after Britons voted to leave the EU, losing more than 12% of its value in a couple of trading sessions, and dropping down to the lowest level since 1985.

It has since rallied a little, thanks largely to the increased political stability brought about by the appointment of former home secretary Theresa May as prime minister in mid-July. However, sterling still remains roughly 10% lower than it was at the close on the day Britain went to the polls.

At around 8:00 a.m. BST (3:00 a.m. ET) on Thursday morning, sterling was fairly muted, lower by just 0.25% against the dollar at $1.3293. When the Bank of England announces what it is doing to monetary policy, it is likely to move substantially, with a downward move the most likely outcome.

Helpfully, analysts at ING have compiled a chart to illustrate where it thinks the pound will go in a variety of scenarios. ING’s base case for the MPC meeting is that Carney and his associates will cut rates by 25 basis points, as well as announcing between £50-75 billion of QE. In this scenario, ING sees sterling tumbling by as much as 3%, which at current prices, would take the pound below $1.29 for the first time since early July.

The best outcome for sterling investors, and British holidaymakers would be for the Bank to once again take no action, which ING believes would boost sterling by around 2.5%. Take a look at ING’s various sterling scenarios below:

While ING’s predictions are a useful indicator of what might happen to sterling in the aftermath of the rates decision, it should be noted that prior to the BoE’s last monetary policy announcement, HSBC predicted a 1.5% fall in the pound after a “no change” decision from the Bank. In reality, as mentioned above, sterling gained 2%.

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