Sterling hits 4-1/2 year low vs euro, focus on BoE
LONDON, Nov 21 - Sterling fell to a new 4-1/2 year low versus the euro on Wednesday, with investors looking to minutes from this month's Bank of England meeting for guidance on whether rates will be cut as soon as December.
The minutes, due at 0930 GMT, are expected to show two of the nine Monetary Policy Committee members -- David Blanchflower and Rachel Lomax -- dissented from the on-hold decision and voted for a rate cut from 5.75 percent.
Analysts say that if there were three dissenters, that would back the case for a move next month.
"You want to sell sterling today. I think the Bank of England minutes will indicate, as per the inflation report last week, that a rate cut is coming, and coming quite soon -- perhaps even as early as December," said Geoff Kendrick, currency strategist at Westpac.
The euro rose to a 4-1/2 year high of 71.83 pence, edging up towards a record high of 72.55 pence set in mid-2003.
By 0805 GMT, sterling was down 0.1 percent at $2.0623. It also fell 1 percent against the low-yielding yen to 224.87 yen.
Falling equities and renewed concerns about the health of the global financial sector and credit markets weighed on risk appetite, making investors less willing to hold relatively risky carry trade bets in high yielders like sterling.
BoE deputy governor John Gieve warned that there may yet be more turmoil to come in financial markets and that money markets may feel a bigger squeeze before the end of the year.
London interbank offered rates for two- and three-month sterling deposits were fixed at two-month highs on Tuesday, reflecting continued stress in the credit market.
Source supplied by: Reuters