Pound rises after upbeat data points to November interest rate hike

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11 October 2017


Sterling edged higher for the second straight day against the US Dollar on Tuesday after an upbeat set of activity data suggested that the Bank of England remains on course to raise interest rates at its next meeting in November.

oth industrial and manufacturing production beat expectations, with factories in Britain posting their two strongest months of the year so far in July and August. Industrial production jumped by 1.6% on a year previous in August, accompanied by an upward revision to the July number, while manufacturing output also rose by a better-than-expected 1.6%. The UK economy has struggled to gain traction so far this year and yesterday’s data will be welcome news to the more hawkish members of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee as the central bank gears up for its first rate hike in a decade.

With no economic data releases in the UK today, traders will turn their attention to events elsewhere, namely the Federal Reserve’s meeting minutes this evening.

North Korea tensions weigh on Dollar ahead of FOMC minutes

The US Dollar was broadly weaker on Tuesday, slipping back below the 1.18 level against the Euro for the first time in ten days. A report that claimed North Korea had told Russia that it was in possession of an intercontinental missile weighed on the greenback and caused investors to buy safer assets. A spat between Donald Trump and a Republican senator also created concern that the US President would face major stumbling blocks in his bid to implement widespread tax cuts in the US.

We now look ahead to this evening’s meeting minutes from the Federal Reserve, set for release at 19:00 UK time. The key to the Dollar could be the Fed’s language on the state of inflation in the US. Any indication among the committee that the recent slowdown in price growth will prove temporary would likely buoy the greenback. Federal Reserve members Evans and Williams will also both be speaking as investors look to gather additional clues as to the possibility of a December rate hike from the Fed.

German trade surplus swells in August

The Euro rose by around half a percent against the Dollar yesterday after additional economic data out of Germany suggested that Europe’s largest economy was on course for another solid performance in the third quarter of the year. Exports in Germany far outpace imports in August, widening the country’s trade surplus and easing concerns that the strength of the Euro may be having a detrimental impact on export revenue. The trade surplus swelled to 21.6 billion Euros, well above the 20 billion consensus.

With no economic data releases in the Eurozone today the common currency will likely be driven by events elsewhere. ECB member Peter Praet could prove a market mover when he speaks after market close this evening.