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Market report: dollar drops but stays near multi-month highs
24 Jun 2021
The dollar advanced against all major rivals yesterday ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s address. It went on to lose a little ground overnight, but remains near multi-month highs.
Much like last week’s announcement, in which the Fed signaled a rate increase could happen sooner than expected, Powell acknowledged that some inflation pressures are stronger and more persistent than first anticipated. He added, however, they were still not on par with some of the worst episodes the US had seen and the Fed would use all tools available to prevent this from happening.
He noted that much of the recent inflation surge was due to the economic reopening. Powell cited airline tickets, hotel prices and lumber along with generally surging consumer demand pumping up the economy. Those factors, he said, should “resolve themselves” in the coming months, sticking with the narrative that current price pressures are transitory and will eventually subside.
He added: “We will wait for evidence of actual inflation or other imbalances”. Actual inflation likely defined as a sustained month on month overshoot of the 2% target.
He also reiterated that full employment was still a key goal for the Fed. Investors relaxed as this hinted fear of inflation alone would not be enough to prompt rate rises despite last week’s dot plot.
Several other Fed speakers were due to appear last night and their speeches gave mixed signals. New York Fed President John Williams held a dovish tone. His main concern was employment and the lack of participation despite record vacancy rates.
In contrast, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard emphasized that he wanted to taper as early as possible. This ultimately downplays last week’s dot plot as it highlights the difference in opinion among the Federal Open Market Committee.
07:30 -EUR- Markit Manufacturing PMI(Jun) PREL
07:30 -EUR- Markit Services PMI(Jun) PREL
07:30 -EUR- Markit PMI Composite(Jun) PREL
08:00 -EUR- Markit PMI Composite(Jun) PREL
08:30 -GBP- Markit Services PMI(Jun) PREL
18:00 -EUR- ECB’s President Lagarde speech
Market report: pound looking to recover losses
22 Jun 2021
Sterling recovered slightly against the euro and dollar yesterday despite last week’s market sentiment shift towards risk-off.
With a pretty quiet economic calendar so far this week, it’s difficult to identify a main reason for the move. It could just be a general shift in risk sentiment or investors may be pricing in a potential hawkish move from the Bank of England later this week.
Of the data that has been released, research showed eleven of fourteen sectors reported faster growth month-on-month. That’s up from nine in April. UK tourism and recreation showed the biggest rise as hotels and pubs benefited from the easing of restrictions.
The Delta variant remains a concern and will likely limit sterling’s ability to rebound if cases turn to hospitalisations. As of yesterday, the UK reported 10,663 new cases and five further deaths on Friday compared to 7,742 infections and three deaths the same time last week.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he cannot categorically rule out any further lockdowns.
The dollar dropped a little on Monday as investors took profits and prepared themselves for a week of Federal Reserve speeches.
This follows the central bank’s hawkish turn last week as they bought forward the median starting point for interest rate rises to 2023, a year earlier than markets had forecast.
The week began with New York Fed President John Williams striking a more dovish tone, claiming more economic progress is needed before the Fed starts tapering bond purchases.
Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan and his St Louis counterpart Jim Bullard didn’t agree. Their comments were more in line with last week’s hawkish projections.
Market report: pound falls as Covid cases rise
22 Jun 2021
Sterling fell against the euro and dollar on Friday as investor appetite soured amid rising Covid cases and disappointing UK retail sales. Office for National Statistics data showed month-on-month and year-on-year retail figures fell below expectations of 1.6% and 29% growth to read -1.4% and 24.6% respectively.
The data has come as a disappointing surprise to investors, with some questioning whether the UK’s economic recovery can live up to the lofty expectations economists set earlier this year.
The issue with lofty expectations is they’re often a little too lofty. Then when numbers don’t live up to forecasts the market has to readjust. This is especially noticeable if that potential good news has already been priced in, as recent reports suggest is the case here.
This all adds insult to injury to a pound trading at two month lows vs the dollar and still licking its wounds from last week’s US Federal Reserve decision to bring interest rate hike expectations forward by a year.
On top of all this, the UK Covid situation is causing investors to rethink their positions on sterling. Data on Friday showed infections rose by around 9,000 with Delta variant cases up 79% in a week. It’s now believed to account for 99% of new cases. Fortunately, hospital admissions are still rising far slower than previous outbreaks. However, they still rose to 1,316 – the highest since the end of April.
12:30 – EUR – ECB Lagarde Speech
14:15 – EUR – ECB Lagarde Speech
19:00 – USD – Fed Kaplan speech
Market report: inflation data boosts pound vs euro
18 Jun 2021
The pound reached its highest level against the euro since early April yesterday, following strong UK inflation data earlier in the week.
This coincided with a EUR/USD sell off fueled by a hawkish comments at the US Federal Reserve’s rate conference. The Fed suggested there could be two rates hikes as early as 2023. The first rise wasn’t expected until 2024.
This has left the euro exposed as both the Bank of England (BoE) and the Fed look to normalise monetary policy ahead of the European Central Bank (ECB). This was reflected in euro rates against the pound and dollar.
This morning saw the release of UK retail sales data which showed a decline of 1.4% between April and May. However, total retail sales were up 9.1% when compared with pre-pandemic levels. The strongest monthly declines in sales volumes in May came from food stores and non-store retailers of 5.7% and 4.2% respectively. Both sectors were affected by the easing of restrictions for hospitality and non-essential retail. Non-food stores continued to report monthly sales growth of 2.3% in May, following growth of 25.6% in April. Fuel sales also increased by 6.2% from April, as people continue to travel more and more.
The pound still remains vulnerable to the rising cases of the delta variant. The UK’s exit from lockdown has already been delayed, which has negatively impacted consumer and business confidence, and the rise in cases is such the government could extend that further.
Market report: inflation data eases pound’s woes
16 Jun 2021
The pound rose against the dollar this morning after inflation data beat expectations. UK inflation jumped to 2.1% in May, far better than the expected 1.8% and a healthy growth from April’s 1.5%. GBP/USD had been at a one month low yesterday.
However, there’s a feeling among economists this spike is temporary, similar to those seen across the world and fueled by global commodity price rises. It’s likely the figures will run hot whilst this is happening and the Bank of England will wait longer to assess the long term impact. Tuesday’s labour report did show there has been wage growth. This will be of greater interest to the central bank at this point.
10:00 – EUR- ECB’s De Guindos Speech
19:00 – USD – Fed Interest Rate Decision & Economic Projections
19:00 – USD – Fed’s Monetary Policy Statement
19:30 – USD- FOMC Press Conference