Britain's currency also declined to a six-week low versus the dollar after Nationwide Building Society said today its confidence index declined 1 point to 77, the least since it began publishing the monthly gauge in May 2004. The Bank of England will lower its main rate a quarter-point to 5 percent, according to 51 of 61 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.
The pound dropped to 80.01 pence per euro, the lowest level since the 15-nation currency's 1999 inception, and was at 79.94 pence by 8:33 a.m. in London, from 79.77 pence yesterday. It has declined almost 9 percent versus the European common currency this year. Britain's currency also fell 0.2 percent to $1.9650, the lowest level since Feb. 26, before trading at $1.9671.
The index of consumer confidence by Britain's fourth-biggest mortgage lender is based on a survey of 1,204 people conducted by Taylor Nelson Sofres between Feb. 18 and March 20.