The Pound has appreciated against the Euro following today’s Bank of England and European Central Bank (ECB) interest rate announcements. Both Banks kept their interest rates on hold at 0.50% and 1.50% respectively.
However, in the following ECB press conference, ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet struck a more cautious tone, warning that the Euro-zone economy will grow more slowly than previously expected and that the risks to medium-term inflation had moderated.
Whilst stopping short of hinting at rate cuts in the short term, it is now more likely that we could see an interest rate cut from the ECB within the next 12 months. If the current interest rate differential narrows between the UK and the Euro-zone the Pound should gain against the Euro.
The Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) does not hold a press conference following their announcement so the market will eagerly await the release of the MPC minutes on the 21st of September and the Bank of England Quarterly Inflation Report on the 16th November. The possible threat of further Quantitative Easing still poses a significant threat to the Pounds value.
The Euro has depreciated against both the US Dollar and Pound hitting a low earlier of 1.3945 and 0.8705 (1.1487) before recovering modestly. Elsewhere, the Pound continues to trade either side of 1.60 against the US Dollar.