LONDON: Sterling slipped against a strengthening euro and gained against a weaker dollar on Tuesday ahead of the confirmation hearing of Janet Yellen, US President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for Treasury Secretary.
Investors are preparing for Yellen, who served as head of the US Federal Reserve from 2014-2018, to talk up the need for major fiscal stimulus and commit to a market-determined exchange rate when she testifies later on Tuesday.
Analysts say greater fiscal stimulus and commitment to a market exchange rate would fit their views for further dollar weakness this year.
The dollar dropped, giving sterling a lift of 0.2% to $1.3617
Against the euro, which strengthened on the weakening dollar, sterling fell 0.2% to 89.06 pence.
Analysts are bullish on the pound’s prospects against the euro, given Britain’s lead in vaccinations versus Europe’s relatively slower start.
“We continue to think more pound strength is in the cards this year with the UK vaccinating a lot faster than the EU,” said Mikael Milhøj, senior analyst at Danske Bank.
Britain, which has the world’s fifth worst official death toll from COVID-19, is racing to be among the first major countries to vaccinate its population - seen as the best way to exit the pandemic and get the economy going again.
Sterling has also benefited lately from the Bank of England pushing out the horizon for a potential introduction of negative interest rates.