Carney Says BOE Will Act as Needed as Trade Tensions, Brexit Unfold
Traders are betting that one of Mark Carney’s last acts as Bank of England governor will be an interest-rate cut.
Market pricing shows a 25-basis-point reduction in rates is almost fully priced in for the BOE’s January 2020 meeting -- due to be held on Carney’s penultimate day in office. That would leave the key interest rate at 0.5 per cent -- the same level it was when the Canadian took up the job in 2013.
Investors’ bets on lower borrowing costs have increased amid heightened concern that new prime minister Boris Johnson will take the U.K. out of the European Union without a deal in October. They’ve accelerated further in recent days as central banks around the world, including the U.S, Federal Reserve, lowered rates in response to trade tensions and a gloomier economic outlook.
The market pricing is at odds with the BOE’s official guidance, based on a smooth Brexit, that says limited and gradual hikes are needed. In case there isn’t a deal, policy makers have stressed that the BOE’s response won’t be automatic and could see rates moves in either direction, although a number of officials have indicated a bias for lower borrowing costs in such a scenario.