bank of england

BoE set stage for May rate rise

23rd March 2018 Market Update

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?? GBP – Whilst the BoE kept rates at 0.5% in yesterday’s meeting, the prospect of a rate hike was all but guaranteed in May’s meeting after BoE members Ian McCafferty and Michael Saunders voted to raise interest rates. Sterling markets jumped immediately following the announcement but the gains were short lived as investors decided that a rate hike in May was already priced in by the market.

GBP/EUR came off resistance levels which have been intact since June last year suggesting further gains could well be limited. Against the US dollar, we reached the highs last seen at the end of January this year before finishing the day marginally lower.

Today we see the BoE quarterly bulletin at noon as well as speech by MPC member Vlieghe at 12.30pm, which could provide more insight as to the prospect of further rate hikes this year.

?? EUR – The euro weakened yesterday after data from agency Markit revealed that both the services and manufacturing sectors contracted more than expected for the month of March.

No major news is expected today.

?? USD – The US dollar continued to weaken early in yesterday’s morning session as a continuation of the disappointment from the Fed in Wednesday’s rate statement. Signs of a robust US economy supported the dollar in afternoon trade after Markit manufacturing figures showed the sector continued to expand.

In other news, President Trump announced tariffs against China that could total up to US$60bn. The news further intensifies the prospect of trade wars, with China already saying they will take all necessary measures to protect themselves.

In focus today will be US durable goods orders, which are forecasted to rise by 1.5% in February.


Key Announcements

?? GBP
12:00pm: BoE Quarterly Bulletin
12:30pm: MPC Member Vlieghe Speech

?? USD
12:30pm: US Durable Goods Orders

?? CAD
12:30pm: Inflation Figures


Summary: Sterling jumped at noon yesterday after two members of the BoE dissented from the majority and voted to raise UK interest rates. However, the gains were short lived as the currency dipped over the course of the afternoon finishing marginally unchanged on the day.


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Darren Kilner

Darren Kilner

Darren is Head of Dealing at FairFX. Darren lives and breaths FX, his Mastermind topics are G8 currencies and economic forecasts.

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