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.

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.

Volatility day expected for UK Budget and FOMC meeting

Today is UK Budget day for George Osborne

Today is UK Budget day for George OsborneTonight brings us the US Federal Reserve (FOMC) interest rate decision. The FOMC are not expected to change interest rates tonight, but the meeting will give clues about the timing of the next move.

The most important aspect of tonight’s meeting will be the ‘dots’ – this closely watched graph shows the central bank’s forecast interest rates.

It’s anticipated that the rate run will contain another two or three hikes this year and four next year. The FOMC could present June as an opportunity to hike, and if so, this is likely to feed into USD strength. Overall, markets expect that the meeting’s sentiment will lean to the hawkish, with a firm focus upon the performance of global markets and the domestic labour market.

A day full of economic data

Before we get to the FOMC meeting we have plenty of economic data to digest. US CPI inflation data is projected to increase by 0.2% in February, and remain unchanged at 2.2% for the year. We also have US industrial and manufacturing production data, which is expected to weaken.

From the UK we have key unemployment data today. The unemployment rate is forecast to remain unchanged at 5.1%. Market focus will be on average earnings data; although numbers were flat in January there is optimism that wages should be now moving higher.

Finally, we get to hear Chancellor George Osborne present the Budget today. The Pound has softened in the run up to the announcement, over concerns for the potential aggressive fiscal tightening that could be delivered.

ECB lowers negative interest rates

It was a tale of two halves for the European Central Bank (ECB) meeting yesterday as interest rates were dropped.

It was a tale of two halves for the European Central Bank (ECB) meeting yesterday as interest rates were dropped.Initially they delivered a comprehensive package of easing which included a cut to the main refinancing rate from 0.05% to 0% and a deposit rate cut to -0.4% from -0.3%. QE was also increased and expanded and they introduced a new year 4 year liquidity package in the form of TLTROs.

At this point the market responded positively and the euro lost ground sharply against the US Dollar and the Pound. However, the rug was pulled by confirmation in the Q&A session from Mario Draghi that he does not expect to see any further rate cuts.

This line in the sand on no further interest rates spun the euro from weakness to strength in a very sharp about turn and led to euro gains on the day amidst huge volatility.

It seems the ECB are trying to focus their attention on the credit space through bank lending to support the recovery and to curb disinflation. The decision is effectively moving away from targeting euro weakness as a way to turn the tide of falling inflation.

The ECB has also now bought time before any additional easing would be considered. In summary they have sent the message out that they are done for now. This conclusion has been taken as a disappointment by the market which had expected the easing bias to continue with forward guidance and some are questioning if this is the ECB’s last stand and they are now out of bullets.

German inflation numbers come in weaker than expected

Today will be largely spent assessing yesterdays’ ECB decision and fallout. Elsewhere in the EU, this morning we have had German inflation numbers which have come in weaker than expected at -0.5%. Later on it’s the turn of UK trade balance which is expected to be slightly up from last month’s figure.

Aside from this there is little data out, however over the weekend we have some key Chinese data to look forward to.

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Bad enough if you have to do it once, but you then have to do it time and time again repeating the same answers again and again. And with all your quotes scribbled down or in your mind, it’s easy to get confused about who was cheapest.

With the arrival of the internet, things got better (slightly). Many of the leading offline insurers realised that online systems were a convenient way for them, and the customers, to do business. So, now the consumer could go online 24 hours a day and get a quotation – Great – except for one thing. The consumer still had to “shop around” by going to each and every insurers’ site and entering their details again and again to get your quotations.

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The Wise Money insurance services are provided by Quotezone which is a trading style of Seopa Ltd. Seopa Ltd’s registered office is at 5 Dogleap Road, Limavady, Co. Londonderry, BT49 9NN who are regulated by the Financial Services Authority for insurance mediation.

UK economic growth increases to 0.7% in second quarter

UK economic growth increased in the second quarter of the year- helped by a big jump in oil and gas production.

UK economic growth increased in the second quarter of the year- helped by a big jump in oil and gas productionThe UK’s economy grew by an estimated 0.7% in the April to June period, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said which compared with growth of 0.4% in the first quarter of the year.

Britain’s recovery strengthened, as the official figures suggested growth per head was finally back to pre-crisis levels.

Output in the economy during the second quarter was 2.6% higher than the same period a year earlier, the ONS said.

“After a slowdown in the first quarter of 2015, overall GDP growth has returned to that typical of the previous two years,” said ONS chief economist Joe Grice.

The UK’s economy has now seen 10 quarters of sustained economic growth.

The ONS stressed the first estimate was based on about 40% of the available economic data and is subject to revision.

It said manufacturing output experienced its first fall in two years with output dropping 0.3% in the quarter.

However, a surge in North Sea oil and gas production lifted overall industrial output by 1% – the biggest increase since late 2010.

The “mining and quarrying” component of the industrial output figures, which includes oil and gas extraction, rose by 7.8% in the quarter, the biggest increase since 1989.

The ONS said the increase, which came despite falling oil prices, was driven by tax cuts in March designed to support the sector.

Construction was flat in the period, the ONS said, recovering from a slight fall the previous quarter.

The UK’s dominant services sector recorded growth of 0.7%, following a rise of 0.4% in the previous three months.

Domestic demand is expected to remain strong, as wages rise and with the temporary effects of low inflation boosting consumer spending.

The ONS said there were also signs that businesses were finally increasing investment.

George Osborne, the Chancellor, said the figures showed Britain was “motoring ahead”. He tweeted: “We must stay on road we’ve set out on.”

The economy is now 5.2pc larger than its pre-crisis peak, and ONS said the 0.7pc expansion in the second quarter suggested that gross domestic product (GDP) per head was now “broadly equal to the pre-economic downturn peak” in the first quarter of 2008. This is expected to be confirmed by the ONS next month.

Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, has said that “sustained growth” of “around 0.6pc per quarter” will be needed for the remaining “spare capacity” in the economy to be eliminated and for rate setters to start tightening policy.

Mr Carney said in a speech this month that the decision to raise rates would come into “sharper relief” by “the turn of this year”.

UK government borrowing deficit falls in May

UK government borrowing debt fell to £10.13 billion in May, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said, down from £12.35 billion a year earlier.

UK government borrowing debt fell to £10.13 billion in MayA rise in income tax and VAT receipts helped to cut UK government borrowing in May, official figures have shown.
It was the lowest borrowing figure in May for eight years.

Public sector net debt excluding public sector banks now stands at £1.5 trillion, the ONS said, which is 80.8% of gross domestic product (GDP).

“While the deficit in the financial year ending 2015 has fallen by more than a third since its peak in the financial year ending 2010, public sector net debt has maintained a gradual upward trend,” the ONS said in a statement.

Income tax receipts recorded their highest level for May in four years, rising £0.5 billion, or 5.3%, from a year earlier to £10.8 billion. VAT receipts rose by £0.6 billion, or 5.6%, to £10.7 billion.

The ONS also said that it now estimated total public sector borrowing in the financial year to March 2015 was £89.2 billion, or 4.9% of GDP.

While this figure was slightly higher than the previous estimate, it was still £9.3 billion lower than the previous year’s total.

Analysts said the drop in government borrowing during May was good news for Chancellor George Osborne at the start of the new fiscal year.

Last week, the chancellor said he would attempt to bind future governments to maintaining a budget surplus when the economy is growing.

However experts say that the rise in public sector debt above £1.5 trillion will be troubling for Mr Osborne.