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Pound dips as investors look to inflation data and rates decision



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By Harry Robertson

LONDON, June 18 (Reuters) -The pound slipped to trade around a one-month low against the dollar on Tuesday as investors waited for inflation figures on Wednesday and the Bank of England's interest rate decision the day after that.

Sterling was also down slightly against the euro, pulling away from a two-year high touched on Friday.

The pound has been buffeted over the last week by swings in the euro and dollar as global currency markets have digested U.S. inflation data, a Federal Reserve meeting and French President Emmanuel Macron's decision to call snap elections.

The euro has tumbled and the dollar has strengthened against most currencies as the threat of a far right government in France has pushed investors towards the safety of the U.S. currency.

Sterling was down 0.17% on Tuesday GBP=D3 at $1.2683 as the dollar strengthened against most currencies, just above a one-month low of $1.2658 touched on Friday.

Meanwhile, the euro was up very slightly against the pound at 84.52 pence, after sliding 0.6% last week to as low as 83.97 pence.

The BoE's monetary policy committee (MPC) is widely expected to leave interest rates at 5.25% on Thursday, though investors will scrutinise the accompanying statement for any hints about when borrowing costs might fall.

Consumer price index (CPI) data due on Wednesday is expected to show Britain's inflation rate fell back to the BoE's 2% target in May, from 2.3% in April GBHICY=ECI.

"Wednesday's CPI... will impact market pricing of just under two cuts for this year, whilst Thursday is likely to see rates unchanged at 5.25%, with a 7–2 vote split likely from the MPC," said Joe Tuckey, head of FX analysis at broker Argentex.

"In the absence of a cut this week, the MPC are likely to wait until the August meeting, by which time another inflation print will be known."

BoE policymakers remain concerned that inflation for services GBCPSA=ECI, which dominate the UK economy, is running at an elevated 5.9% and could put upwards pressure on broader inflation again in the coming months.

The UK's general election campaign ahead of polling day on July 4 has had little impact on the pound, with both parties pledging to be responsible on tax and spend after the Liz Truss budget crisis in 2022.



Graphic: World FX rates in 2023 http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

Graphic: Trade-weighted sterling since Brexit vote http://tmsnrt.rs/2hwV9Hv


Reporting by Harry Robertson; Editing by Susan Fenton

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