Pound steady as Article 50 trigger date approaches

Although we’re now only six days away from the long-awaited activation of Article 50, the pound is proving resilient and its best levels of the week could be yet to come.

Although we’re now only six days away from the long-awaited activation of Article 50, the pound is proving resilient and its best levels of the week could be yet to come.

Sterling edged slightly lower yesterday as excitement over the inflation surge eased. However, GBP largely returned to opening levels before the close of the European session despite the UK being shaken by a terror attack in London.

GBP/EUR was holding ‘1.1546, GBP/USD remained close to $1.2500 and GBP/AUD held firm above AU$1.6250.

What’s been happening?

After the flurry of activity inspired by the UK’s inflation report earlier in the week, trading was a little flat on Wednesday.

A lack of high-profile data prevented the pound advancing further as the eyes of the world turned to the shocking events that took place outside the Parliamentary building in London.

Meanwhile, the decline in bets that the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates more than three times in 2017 weakened demand for the US dollar and the euro failed to display much response to a 15-month low Eurozone current account surplus.

Down in the South Pacific, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) left interest rates on hold as expected. The central bankís policy statement was little changed from February, although it did seem slightly less concerned about the relative strength of the New Zealand dollar. The upshot of the announcement was that the GBP/NZD exchange rate got to hold its previous 2 cent gain.

What’s coming up?

Aside from the UK retail sales numbers, we have a speech from Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen and Eurozone consumer confidence data on the calendar for today.

The pound could hit its highest levels of the week so far if the UK sales report shows the forecast uptick in consumer spending, but the recent terror incident may limit demand for the British currency. The pound is also liable to start feeling the pressure ahead of the weekend with the activation of Article 50 in sight.

Looking ahead to Friday weíve got a number of reports for the Eurozone to focus on.

Sturdy PMIs for the currency bloc and its major economies would be euro supportive. The only UK news will be the BBA loans for house purchase stat, which is expected to detail an increase in property lending.

As we’ve also got Canadian inflation data and US durable goods orders due for publication, USD and CAD exchange rates could be in for some movement.

Leave a Reply