* Graphic: World FX rates in 2020 http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
* Graphic: Trade-weighted sterling since Brexit vote http://tmsnrt.rs/2hwV9Hv
(Updates prices and adds Bailey comments)
By Olga Cotaga
LONDON, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Sterling rose above $1.33 for the
first time in 2020 and touched an eight-month high as the dollar
fell across the board in the aftermath of a speech by Federal
Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.
The pound was last trading up more than 1% at $1.3341
, its highest since mid-December, while it rose 0.4%
against the euro to 89.23 pence, a 1-1/2-month high.
In his address to the virtual Jackson Hole Symposium, Powell
fuelled expectations that U.S. interest rates could remain low
for a long time to come by signalling the central bank would aim
for inflation to average 2%, rather than exactly hit that level.
Speaking at the same event on Friday, Bank of England
Governor Andrew Bailey said the British central bank had more
ammunition to support the economy after its coronavirus lockdown
shock, and there was evidence that big, aggressive stimulus
pushes were effective.
Traders are shying away from taking strong views on the
pound, however, with most investors remaining on the sidelines
in thin August trading, but analysts say things may change next
week when many people return from summer holidays.
"It's this intermediate period when everyone is waiting to
see how things develop," said Esther Maria Reichelt, a forex
analyst at Commerzbank.
Renewed weakness in the pound is a possibility, analysts
say, as a mix of Brexit uncertainty, coronavirus fears and
dismal economic data could drive it lower.
British business confidence has ticked up, but remains far
below usual levels as the economy struggles to cope with social
distancing and employers prepare to cut jobs, a survey showed on
"At the moment we're concentrating a bit more on the Fed and
the dollar, but it will come that there's interest in sterling
again," said Andreas Koenig, head of global FX at Amundi, adding
the pound's fate would be determined by whether Britain managed
to agree a future trade deal with the EU.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will launch a public campaign
next week to get Britain back to the workplace as ministers warn
working from home could make people more vulnerable to losing
their jobs, The Telegraph newspaper reported.
Britain is trying to find a way to revive its serviced-based
economy even while COVID-19 remains a threat.
The government said on Friday it would back three nationwide
COVID-19 studies with 8.4 million pounds ($11 million) for
research into understanding human immune responses to the
(Reporting by Olga Cotaga, Editing by Mark Heinrich and Mark