- There was an unexpectedly strong recovery in Sterling rates during yesterday’s trading session, with the Pound advancing in the region of 0.7% and 1.60% against its major currency counterparts. Its biggest gain of 1.60% coming against the Struggling Kiwi Dollar, which at the close of play was trading near a 2017 high of 1.7723.
- The Sterling recovery was prompted by the Bank of England’s March Monetary policy meeting, and whist the BOE held interest rates at 0.25% as expected, it was in fact the 8-1 vote (9-0 Expected) and accompanying minutes that bolstered the Pound.
- The minutes revealed that the MPC members had deliberated the prospect of hiking interest rates to keep inflation in check, should the economy keep holding its own during Brexit negotiations. And in fact one member Kristin Forbes felt strongly enough to be the solitary member who voted for a rate hike at this March meeting.
- The US Dollar was largely in a position of consolidation during yesterday’s trading following Wednesday evening’s US Fed FOMC meeting, but the economic data continues to impress:
- Philly Fed Manufacturing Index 32.8 (30.2 Exp)
- Unemployment Claims 241K (245K Exp)
- JOLTS Job Openings 5.63M (5.45m Exp)
- Excluding against the Pound, The Euro performed solidly yesterday bolstered by the result of the Dutch Elections as PM Marke Rutte’s VVD party comfortably saw off the challenge of Geert Wilders anti-Islamic PVV party.
- EU Inflation in February was in line with expectations with a Eurozone Final CPI y/y print of 2.0%.
- The Swiss National Bank was in action yesterday morning, leaving their benchmark interest rate at -0.75%. The SNB said their outlook for the economy was cautiously optimistic with predicted growth of 1.5% in GDP for 2017.
- Speaking late yesterday evening ECB Member Nowotny suggested rate hikes could in theory commence before the end of the QE program. These comments gave the Euro a lift.
- New Zealand ANZ Consumer Confidence Index (Mar) 125.2(127.4 Previously).
- Likely to be a more quiet morning session today.
- Some key data due this afternoon however; we look out for Canadian Manufacturing Sales at 12.30pm and US Consumer Sentiment print at 2pm.
- We would of course like to wish our Irish friends a Happy St Patricks Day!