Stable day for Sterling after a period of higher volatility

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23 June 2017

thomasdodds

Sterling remained mostly unchanged versus the US Dollar and the Euro.

T
he British currency experienced one of its less volatile days since the UK election. Second-tier data from the UK was positive – CBI Industrial Trends have hit the highest level in almost 30 years, increasing the book balance of the factory orders to 16. The reading came as much better than expected – consensus of the economists predicted a reading at 7.

Today will be very light in terms of macroeconomic publications from the UK, investors should focus on the preliminary PMI prints from the Eurozone and the US data.

No surprises for the Dollar

Yesterday’s jobless claims came almost perfectly in line with the expectations at 241 thousand people asking for unemployment assistance. The Department of Labor slightly adjusted last week’s figure upwards from 237K to 238K. If anything, yesterday’s reading is consistent with a tightening job market in the US which should sooner rather than later translate into wage pressure and higher inflation, which is the focus of the Federal Reserve. During his last speech, FOMC’s Jerome Powell didn’t focus on the possibility of rate hike, but rather spoke at length on banking regulations.

Today we await June Eurozone PMI indices of business activity, the most accurate leading indicator of the state of the European economy. Then late afternoon there will be speeches from three FOMC officials: James Bullard, Loretta Mester and Jerome Powell.

Investors ignore second-tier data as they await preliminary PMI prints from the Eurozone

The common currency depreciated slightly during London trading hours. Recent swings in the Euro are likely no more than technical adjustments, as traders look past second-tier data. ECB’s bulletin didn’t impact markets, though the tone of the message was rather neutral to dovish.

Investors await key economic data from the Eurozone: PMI prints for June. Expectations are high. Preliminary PMI indices are the most accurate early signal there is of the state of economic conditions and are a critical factor in estimating the pace of growth.

Norges Bank keeps rates unchanged, markets react with optimism

At yesterday’s meeting, Central Bank of Norway kept its policy rate at a record low of 0.5 percent. The decision was unanimous and widely expected. The central bank slightly raised its interest forecasts and expects the rates to gradually rise from 2019 and reach 1.25% near the end of 2020. Norges Bank therefore follows the ECB’s footsteps in removing its easing bias and the Krone reacted positively.

Lower oil prices hit Russian Ruble

The drop in the oil prices after a period of semi-stability started to hit commodity-exporting countries. USD/RUB rose by around 5% over the course of past seven days, as excess supply and fading optimism hit oil. The currency rebounded slightly during London trading yesterday, but remains at the lowest level since the end of January.