Speaking at the launch of the SNP’s election campaign, Miss Sturgeon also made it clear her party would push for another Scottish independence referendum in 2020. GBP investors generally favour the Conservatives in the upcoming election on hopes that a Tory majority will help to break the Brexit deadlock in parliament, so the news came at the detriment of the pound.
Also weighing on the pound today is speculation that the Bank of England (BoE) could start cutting interest rates in early 2020.
GBP exchange rates fell sharply on Thursday after two BoE policymakers broke ranks, voting for an immediate rate cut and signalling a shift towards a more accommodating monetary policy.
At the same time, the US dollar has been edging higher this afternoon as the safe-haven currency is buoyed by US-China trade uncertainty and an emerging risk-off market.
This follows conflicting headlines calling into question news that a “phase 1” trade deal will involve a roll back on tariffs.
Chinese officials announced on Thursday that ongoing talks included discussions on the easing of tariffs, but Reuters reported overnight that the idea was ruffling feathers in the White House, with some of Donald Trump’s allies unwilling to budge until China gives ground on key issues.
Looking ahead, UK political uncertainty is likely to infuse fresh volatility in the GBP/USD exchange rate next week as the race for Number 10 continues to heat up.
However, at the start of the week, general election speculation could take a temporary back seat as the UK publishes its latest GDP figures.
Forecasts are for a positive preliminary reading, revealing the economy expanded by a healthy 0.3percent and avoided falling into a recession this year.
But with GBP investors sharply focused on the upcoming election, any gains are likely to be limited unless a clear Tory lead is sustained in polls.
Meanwhile, the US dollar looks poised to strengthen next week on the back of the latest US CPI figures.
Inflation is expected to have accelerated again in October, buoying USD exchange rates as it gives some breathing room for the Federal Reserve to pause interest rates.