Pound up after bank holiday weekend

After the 3 day weekend, the markets have opened up after fully digesting the Fed Jackson Hole meeting with the Pound increasing over the bank holiday weekend.

After the 3 day weekend, the markets have opened up after fully digesting the Fed Jackson Hole meeting with the Pound increasing over the bank holiday weekend.

Janet Yellen’s suggestion that a rate rise is still likely has seen the FTSE strengthen again by 0.3%, but oil has stated to come under renewed pressure.

With a hike now potentially in September a real possibility, Brent Crude found itself trading below $50 per barrel once more and with that, the price for those who do not hold US Dollars as their base currency will find all oil based products more expensive to purchase.

Number of investments coming into UK at year high

The number of investments that come into the UK was at a year high, up a big 11%.

A number of the 116,000 jobs created were said to have been created from overseas investments, also showing the UK as the most appealing region in Europe to do business.

A number of reasons were given as to why the UK attracts so well, such as the English language (spoken globally), fair tax and EU membership, which could now become a hindering block after Article 50 is triggered.

Today’s key data is mixed in terms of geography, with UK Mortgage Approvals, Fed’s Fischer speaking on Bloomberg and German Consumer Price Index out today which may move the markets.

Sterling performs well thanks to record UK jobless

Sterling had a much better day trading yesterday against all its major currency pairings, as the UK Jobless Claims total fell to a record 1.64 million.

Sterling had a much better day trading yesterday against all its major currency pairings, as the UK Jobless Claims total fell to a record 1.64 million.

The numbers from April to June showed that the total fell by just over 50,000, with official figures indicating 31.75m people (74.5%) are currently in work.

Wages with and without bonus’ also showed gains, as the current claimant count for July displayed an 8,000 drop in actual claimants since the surprise Brexit vote.

Conversely Fed Reserve hints at interest rate hike

The minutes of July’s Federal Reserve meeting has hinted at another interest rate hike before the end of the year, but there was a clear division between members.

The FOMC looked to be nearing another move, as job growth and the sharp market recovery (post Brexit) has been a major factor; but a low inflation figures lack of rise, and staying towards its 2% target is still a concern.

With unemployment levels in the US below 5%, one Fed Member, Esther George, wanted a further hike in rates as ‘the economy is at or near full employment’.

Money news to come

Today we see GBP Retail Sales, Eurozone Construction Output & Consumer Price Index, along with Initial Jobless Claims and Continuing Claims.

UK interest rates cut to 0.25%

The Bank of England’s has cut interest rates by half to a new record low of 0.25%.

Bank of England’s cut interest rates by half to a new record low of 0.25%.

In addition the Bank of England (BOE) launched a massive stimulus package designed to save the UK economy from recession.

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted unanimously to slash interest rates to an all time low; they also hinted that it might cut rates “close to but a little above zero” and could unleash more Quantitative Easing if needed.

With a 60 billion government bond buying program and a new initiative to buy 10 billion pounds of corporate bonds, the Bank of England hope to support the necessary adjustments in the UK economy following Brexit.

Mark Carney and the Bank of England think that the outlook for growth has “weakened materially” and they anticipate that the pain will be felt in 2017 as their Quarterly Report shows 2017 forecast slashed from 2.3% to 0.8%, the largest downgrade to its growth forecast to date.

Inflation is forecasted to increase thanks to the weakness of the pound, with the Central Bank now anticipating to hit their 2% target in Q4 of 2017 as opposed to Q2 of 2018 as previously anticipated.

The unemployment rate is also expected to rise to 5.4% in Q3 2016 compared to a previous forecast of 4.9%.

From the US to Europe, other data to come

After Super Thursday, the market will look at the US non-farm payrolls. Following the strong increase in June, a majority of economists are now expecting a weaker number with job growth around 180,000 as Wednesday’s ADP employment report showed signs of softness in the employment components of both ISM reports.

Looking at the day ahead the rest of the data due out in Europe will be overshadowed. Germany factory orders numbers for June, the latest trade balance reading for France and the latest UK house price data are the main data this morning before the market turns its eyes to the July employment report in the US.

Theresa May wastes no time in planning UK’s Brexit strategy

Theresa May is wasting no time in planning the UK’s Brexit strategy as she travels to Germany and France for discussions.

Theresa May is wasting no time in planning the UK's Brexit strategy as she travels to Germany and France for discussions.

Two of the more significant economies of the EU are keen to meet and begin discussions about an exit plan with the new PM. They have both stressed that no in depth proposals will be looked at until Article 50 is triggered.

Canada is the latest country to have ‘shown interest’ in the form of a trade deal to the UK since the referendum outcome, which if true will no doubt have investors starting to believe in the pound again. Other stronger nations such as the US, Australia and India to name a few have also potentially sounded out a trade deal.

London mayor launches #LondonIsOpen

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has been on the front foot this week, launching #LondonIsOpen, aimed to keep investors ploughing their funds into UK Markets and hoping to keep tourists flocking to major parts of the UK. The campaign has been backed by senior political figures, business leaders and celebrities alike.

Today we get to digest data from the UK & EU, with GBP Consumer Price Index figures out at 0.5% against previous showing of 0.3% which has boosted the pound slightly plus German ZEW Survey.

US Dollar surges after non farm payroll boost

The US Dollar received a boost in trading, as did stock markets after the non farm payroll report was released.

The US Dollar received a boost in trading, as did stock markets after the non farm payroll report was released.

With job numbers in the US soaring by 287,000, way above the 170,000 expected number; investors flocked to the US dollar to find stable ground, as uncertainty lingers in the Eurozone after the Brexit vote in the UK.

However, gains were slightly capped for the Greenback, as average weekly earnings are still muted, though markets still seem to be moving towards a risk off scenario.

Despite the strong labour report, talks of an interest rate hike seem to be off the table for the near future from the Federal Reserve, as we move back into market consolidation mode.

As far as economic data goes, the US starts us off with the Conference Board Employment Trends Index and the Federal Labour Market Conditions Index, coupled with a speech by FOMC member George.

Concerns over Italian banks mount

Meanwhile in the eurozone, concerns over Italian banks continue to mount, though analysts still insist that internal stress tests for the banks reveal they are resilient and do not need any bailout funds. Euro area finance ministers are due to meet in Brussels today on a fairly quiet start to the week on the economic calendar.

Sterling subdued

Sterling remains subdued and under pressure after the Brexit vote; as markets are likely to remain in limbo until we have a leader of the Conservative Party to carry out the trigger to Article 50. The pound has slid down further after Friday’s positive US data, and currently GBP/USD is trading well below the 1.30 level.

Most of the focus for the UK currency markets will be on tomorrow’s speech by Bank of England Governor Mark Carney on financial stability and the inflation report hearings to provide further direction. The BRC Retail Sales Monitor is due for release today and will provide interim direction for the pound.

UK votes to Leave eu in BREXIT

After the UK’s vote to leave the EU following a very close sentiment, Sterling has weakened significantly- but is bouncing back from it’s lows.

UK votes to Leave eu in BREXIT

There is a factor of uncertainty within the markets which has caused a lot of major sell-offs. Further to this, GBPUSD has opened this morning at a 30 year low, representing a fall of around 10% from last night’s peak, after breaking through key resistance levels.

This volatility is emphasised by the fact that there has already been a 2% bounce back. Naturally, a heavily declining rate is being seen across other Sterling focused currency pairings.

For the rest of the day, Sterling looks to remain under a lot of pressure, as will EURUSD. The next main focus will likely be the contemplation of the aftershock and how to deal with the uncertainty that is sure to follow the referendum’s result.

Sharp reactions on the money markets

It was widely expected that a remain vote would be seen after all of the polls released and therefore, it comes as no surprise that the markets reacted sharply when the contradicting news came in this morning and last night.

Looking out to the rest of the day, it’s likely to be chaotic and busy in the world of trading. It’s not just currencies that are being affected either – we’re seeing huge risk off moves elsewhere, including within the futures and commodities markets, just to name a couple.

Further to the general impact, it would come as no surprise to see central banks tightening their financial conditions and cutting interest rates. We’re also likely to hear from the ECB soon. Politics will determine the long term cost and with David Cameron resigning this morning, there is yet another factor of uncertainty on this side of the Brexit.

Pound rallies on UK Manufacturing Data

Yesterday we saw a surprise jump in UK’s manufacturing data in April to 2.3% from a paltry 0.1% in March.

Yesterday we saw a surprise jump in UK's manufacturing data in April to 2.3% from a paltry 0.1% in March.

The positive number in an area that has struggled, led to a move higher for the Pound. In addition, the NIESR GDP estimate also came out stronger, which suggests that UK growth could be stronger than thought.

The Pound will continue to be driven by the perceived outcome of the referendum in the short term, and tonight we have a two hour ITV debate (8-10pm) involving politicians from both camps.

Initial jobless claims to come

Today ECB President Mario Draghi will be speaking, and the market will be looking for any new signals or comments following last week’s meeting. In addition, we have US data with initial jobless claims later on. This data is normally benign, but given the weak non-farm payroll number on Friday it will be eyed closely. If jobless claims are rising, it could suggest that labour market growth is turning sour.

Royal Bank New Zealand rates unchanged

Overnight the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) left rates unchanged at 2.25%. There was some expectation that a 25 basis points cut could be on the cards. It is still likely that we will see a rate cut in the near future as the RBNZ maintain an easing bias. The NZD has strengthened on the avoidance of a rate cut.

Federal Reserve likely to hold off interest rate rises as jobs falter

US non farm payroll data last week came as a rude shock to the markets at a paltry figure of 38,000 against an expected number of 164,000.

US non farm payroll data last week came as a rude shock to the markets at a paltry figure of 38,000 against an expected number of 164,000.

The US Dollar lost ground against most of its counterparts straight after the release and has now almost moved an interest rate hike in June off the table.

Analysts and hedge funds now expect the Federal Reserve to only raise rates once in 2016, against the initial mandate of the planned 3 or 4 rate hike dot curve for the year.

The EURUSD pair rallied up 2 cents though has pulled back a bit this morning as German Factory orders data have been released showing a decline to -0.2%.

Markets will now turn their attentions to Fed member Rosengren and Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s speeches later today and also keep a close eye on labour conditions data to try and determine if the non-farm payroll number was an outlier or if broader economic conditions are slowing.

Sterling is losing ground, pushed by the ‘leave’ campaign

The Pound has lost considerable ground against the board this morning as the ‘leave’ campaign continues to gather momentum in the UK’s Referendum polling.

YouGov telephone and online surveys have put the ‘Brexit’ campaign in the lead at 45% against the ‘remain’ side garnering 41% with 11% still undecided. Expect Sterling to be fairly volatile in the lead up to June 23 up to the date of the vote.

Meanwhile, investors will look towards market data comprising of BRC Retail Sales Index for interim direction though the main theme for the pound remains with the UK Referendum polls.

US jobless claims drop

We are just a few hours away from the spring Bank holiday and today is expected to be a quiet day.

We are just a few hours away from the spring Bank holiday and today is expected to be a quiet day.

The main piece of news out today will be the second estimate of US growth in the first three months of the year which is scheduled at 1.30pm GMT.

The first estimate was disappointing and showed growth slowing to an annual rate of just 0.4% and with the latest sets of data; economists believe the figure could be revised up. Jobless claims dropped to 268K from 278K, durable goods orders rose 3.4% and pending home sales increased 5.1%.

We learned from Fed President Powell that a rate hike may be appropriate fairly soon. Powell said “Depending on the incoming data and the evolving risks, another rate increase may be appropriate fairly soon”.

Many analysts agreed that Powell didn’t show any sense of great urgency to move at the June meeting and he stated that he had not made his mind up yet. He sounded cautious when he added “I can imagine the upcoming Brexit vote as presenting a factor in favour of caution about raising rates in June”.

Investors encouraged by stronger German data

No major Eurozone economic reports were released yesterday but investors were encouraged by stronger German data. Everybody seems to agree the ECB will leave interest rates unchanged but improvements in Germany and France could persuade the Central Bank to wait and see the effect of the current stimulus before deciding on the next step.

UK GDP figures released yesterday

Over in the UK, GDP figures were released yesterday and came in line at 0.4% on a quarterly basis but were slightly weaker on an annualised basis as they came in at 2.0% versus a market expectation for a 2.1% reading. Brexit is weighing on the economy as the underlying data showed weakness. Exports were down and business investment was disappointing.

The only bright spot was provided by government spending and consumer spending, which helped to offset the decline. The housing market is also showing signs of a slowdown as data from BBA Mortgage approvals showed a low at 40.8K against 45K in the previous month. This seems to indicate that the Brexit might be a drag on the housing market.

As mentioned earlier, the economic calendar is light today. In Europe business and consumer confidence surveys are due out in Italy, consumer confidence in France and retail sales in Spain.

The main focus will be in the US with Q1 GDP growth scheduled for release with analysts expecting a 0.4% upward revision. Later in the afternoon Fed Chair Yellen will also be interviewed at a Harvard event. The US and UK markets will remain closed on Monday.

Hawkish FED triggers repricing of interest rates

FED minutes released yesterday sparked a considerable move in the currency market, as the hawkish Fed triggered a sudden, and sharp, repricing of interest rates.

FED minutes released yesterday sparked a considerable move in the currency market, as the hawkish Fed triggered a sudden, and sharp, repricing of interest rates

The minutes demonstrated a committee determined to continue in their tight monetary policy, with most Fed officials signalling a June hike likely, if the economy warrants it.

The Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) judged that “…if incoming data were consistent with economic growth picking up in the second quarter, labour market conditions continuing to strengthen and inflation making progress towards the FOMC’s two per cent objective then it likely would be appropriate”.

It will be interesting to monitor if the Fed will be able to follow through with their plan, especially as the next rate meeting is scheduled ahead of the UK’s EU referendum, an outcome of which is still in balance.

Remain vote tops opinion poll

There was major focus on Sterling, as it rose sharply both against the euro and the US dollar, after an opinion poll released by Ipsos MORI for the Evening Standard revealed a large lead for the remain camp.

Ipsos MORI reported that 55% of the public are planning to vote to stay in Europe in June’s referendum, with just 37% backing Brexit. In Europe, the main focus yesterday was Eurozone inflation figures, which remained unchanged in April and with the YoY rate of consumer price index growth falling -0.2%.

Data to come

Looking at today’s calendar, this morning the market will receive Q1 employment figures from France, but the real focus for the euro will be the last European Central Bank minutes meeting.

Over to the UK, and April retail sales data is scheduled for release, with the market expecting sales to rebound. In the afternoon, as the North American market opens, the Philly Fed’s manufacturing survey will be closely watched, especially considering the weakness in the NY Fed survey earlier this week.

Initial jobless claims numbers are also scheduled for release, and the market will also have the opportunity to find out more about the Fed plans, with Vice-President Fischer and Dudley both scheduled for comments today.