The Pound (GBP) received an unexpected boost yesterday as a Bank of England (BoE) policymaker broke ranks and voted to raise interest rates in the March meeting.
While the monetary policy committee (MPC) ultimately voted 8-1 to leave interest rates unchanged at a record low of 0.25%, the dissent from Kristin Forbes was enough to send markets crazy as she argued that the rapid rise in inflation and strong employment stats were indications that the BoE should be looking to tighten monetary policy.
However, with Brexit jitters likely to creep up in the coming days as Theresa May prepares to trigger Article 50, it is unlikely that Sterling will manage to stabilise at its new levels.
The Pound Euro (EUR) exchange rate slipped around half a cent from its best levels yesterday evening as a senior European Central Bank (ECB) council member hinted towards a possible rate hike.
Ewald Nowotny, the Austrian representative on the council, suggested that the bank may raise the deposit rate before its main refinancing rate, saying that the partial increase would be a better fit for Europe than a prime rate hike.
However the single currency may cede some ground later this morning as analysts predict that the Eurozone’s trade surplus will have narrowed at the start of the year.
Sterling struck a new two-week high against the US Dollar (USD) on Thursday following Forbes’ vote to raise interest rates.
The ‘Greenback’ was also weakened by the latest Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing index as figures showed that manufacturing activity plummeted from 43.3 to 32.8 in March, although this was still higher than initial estimates of 30.0.
The US Dollar may mount a recovery this afternoon as economists predict that Consumer Sentiment will have risen this month as Trump’s pledge to spend $1 trillion on new infrastructure projects boosts expectations of future economic growth.
The Pound Canadian Dollar (CAD) exchange rate rocketed by over a cent yesterday as markets speculated on the possibility of the BoE raising interest rates earlier than expected.
The ‘Loonie’ may retreat even further this afternoon as domestic Manufacturing Sales are expected to have contracted at the start of the year, falling from 2.3% to -0.4% in January.
Sterling recovered from a near five-month low against the Australian Dollar (AUD) on Thursday as markets pounced on murmurs that some in the Bank of England felt that interest rates should be raised in light of soaring inflation.
New Zealand Dollar
The Pound New Zealand Dollar (GBP NZD) exchange rate reached a new ten-week high yesterday as a weak NZ GDP report and Forbes dissent at the BoE policy meeting conspired to drive the ‘Kiwi’ lower.