Goldman, Deutsche Bank Say Pound Plunge Is Just Getting Started

  • Goldman, Citigroup project $1.20 with BOE poised to cut rates
  • Deutsche Bank estimates $1.15 as economic confidence fades

Pound Hits 30-Year Lows: Does It Have Further to Fall?

The pound’s plunge isn’t over yet, according to three of the world’s top currency traders.

After falling to a 31-year low Wednesday, sterling may sink another 7 percent to 11 percent this year in the aftermath of the U.K.’s Brexit vote, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Deutsche Bank AG and Citigroup Inc. The currency will weaken to $1.20 on expectations the Bank of England will cut interest rates to contain the economic fallout from the referendum, according to Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. Deutsche Bank has an even more bearish forecast, seeing $1.15 by the end of 2016.

"The question is: how quick do we get there?" Richard Cochinos, London-based head of Europe Group-of-10 currency strategy at Citigroup Inc., the world’s biggest foreign-exchange trader according to Euromoney magazine, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. "You’re going to need much greater inflows from investors long term and short term before the currency stops weakening."

How Far Can the British Pound Decline?

The pound has tumbled to a three-decade low during the past two days amid mounting evidence the Brexit vote is hurting confidence in Britain’s economy. With real-estate tremors and fund suspensions, concern is building that a failure to control the aftershocks of the referendum will propel the nation into a recession.

For more on the pound’s 100 years of debasement, click here

“We are switching to forecast a second leg of weakness for the pound, as the Bank of England’s policy response drives the currency weaker,” wrote analysts including Robin Brooks, chief currency strategist at Goldman Sachs, the world’s seventh largest currency trader. The bank forecast the exchange rate will reach $1.20, $1.21 and $1.25, respectively, in the next three, six and 12 months.

Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and Citigroup are among the most bearish sterling forecasters, with only 11 of 62 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg seeing the exchange rate dropping to $1.20 or lower by the end of the year. In December, Deutsche Bank called for a 15 percent drop in the currency.

QuickTake After the Brexit Vote

The pound fell as much as 1.7 percent Wednesday to $1.2798, the lowest since 1985. The Bloomberg British Pound Index, which measures the U.K. currency against major peers, has tumbled 13 percent since the referendum, and dropped to the lowest in data compiled by Bloomberg since 2004.

The pound "has much more to go,” wrote George Saravelos, co-head of global foreign-exchange research at Deutsche Bank in London, the world’s No. 4 biggest currency trader, in a note. “Our aggressive forecasts may still be under-stating the level of weakness."

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