Recent UK economic data including yesterday’s Markit/CIPS UK PMI Services survey reinforced expectations that the Bank of England will cut its main interest rate today at 12:00 from 0.50% to 0.25%. Yesterday’s UK PMI Services survey found that Services output and new business both fell at the fastest rates since March 2009.
Chris Williamson, Chief Economist at Markit, which compiles the survey reported that:
“The marked service sector downturn follows news from sister PMI surveys showing construction activity suffering its steepest decline since mid-2009 and manufacturing output contracting at the fastest rate since late-2012. At these levels, the PMI data are collectively signalling a 0.4% quarterly rate of decline of GDP.
It’s too early to say if the surveys will remain in such weak territory in coming months, leaving substantial uncertainty over the extent of any potential downturn. However, the unprecedented month-on-month drop in the all-sector index has undoubtedly increased the chances of the UK sliding into at least a mild recession.
Services providers are certainly bracing themselves for worse to come, with a record drop in business confidence about the year ahead leaving optimism at its lowest ebb since February 2009.
However, the extent of any downturn clearly depends to some degree on the policy response. The PMI is already deep into territory which would normally spur the Bank of England into taking action to stimulate the economy. A quarter-point cut in interest rates therefore seems to be a foregone conclusion at tomorrow’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting, though the extent and nature of other non-standard stimulus measures remains a far greater source of uncertainty and the subject of intense speculation.”
Cuts in Central bank interest rates weaken the home currency as investors sell the associated currency to buy higher yielding currencies known as a carry trade.
Currency Matters can offer a number of products which can eliminate currency risk. Please do not hesitate to contact the dealing desk on telephone +44 (0) 1695 581 669 to discuss your upcoming currency requirements.
The Pound (GBP) has fallen again today breaking below 1.40 against the US Dollar (USD) for the first time since March 2009 with the current low at 1.3880. Against the Euro the Pound has also fallen hitting a low so far of 1.2646(0.7908) on the interbank market.
29 out of 34 economists surveyed by Bloomberg anticipate the GBP/USD rate to fall to 1.35 (low 2009) or below in the event of a BREXIT. The last time GBP/USD traded below 1.35 was in 1985.
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Yesterday 05/11 the Pound tumbled in value following the Bank of England’s latest report which downgraded both the UK growth and inflation forecast and subsequently pushed out market expectations of a Bank of England interest rate rise. The Pound fell over 1% against all major currencies with GBP/EUR falling from 1.4199 to 1.3966 and GBP/USD falling from 1.5401 to 1.5203.
This afternoon 06/11 the US Dollar has appreciated strongly, more than 1%, following overwhelmingly strong US employment data. The US Dollar appreciated strongly against the Euro forcing EUR/USD down from an earlier high of 1.0892 to a low of 1.0707. The US Dollar also appreciated against the Pound with GBP/USD falling from 1.5219 to 1.5030. The US Dollar also appreciated against the Swiss Franc with USD/CHF appreciating from 0.9946, through parity to 1.0065. With the US Dollar appreciating more against the Euro than the Pound, GBP/EUR recovered from 1.3896 to 1.4065.
There is lots of global economic data due for release next week and we also have speeches from Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and ECB President Mario Draghi on Wednesday 11/11 which both have the potential to move the market.
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The Pound has fallen sharply today following weak UK inflation data. The headline Consumer Price Index (CPI) reading was -0.1% year on year in September; much worse than market expectations of +0.2%.
The Pound fell more than 1% against the US Dollar and Euro hitting a low of 1.5201 and 1.3347 before recovering approx ¼ cent towards the end of the day.
Currency Matters can offer a number of products which can help you eliminate currency risk. Please do not hesitate to contact the dealing team on +44 (0) 1695 581 669 for further information or for a live quote.
Forward Contract (Fixed Date): A Forward Contract is one which is agreed for settlement at some fixed point in the future, after two working days. The Forward price is based on the current Spot price and adjusted for the interest rate differential between the currencies being bought and sold. This Forward rate may be more or less than the current Spot price. A Forward Contract guarantees the exchange rate you will receive on your future requirement. A small deposit is required to secure a Forward Contract.
Forward Contract (Variable Date): Similar to the description of the Forward Contract above, but settlement is agreed to occur between two dates, at the client’s discretion, rather than on a fixed date. This is particularly useful when you don’t know precisely when you would need to settle with your counterparty.
Market Orders: Currency Matters offer the facility to place market orders – either on a “limit” basis or on a “stop” basis. For example, you can place a limit order to buy your currency at a predetermined price, above the current rate. Alternatively you can place a stop order to buy your currency at a predetermined rate, below the current rate. We can also work orders on a “one cancels other” basis, so if you have both a limit and a stop order in place, and one is executed, the remaining order is automatically cancelled.
The Pound has strengthened this morning following the release of stronger than expected UK inflation data with Core Consumer Prices rising at an annual pace of 1.2% adding weight to the argument that the Bank of England should consider increasing UK interest rates which have stood at their historic low of 0.50% for more than six years.
This follows recent comments from Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Kristin Forbes who argued that “Waiting too long would risk undermining the recovery – especially if interest rates then need to be increased faster than the gradual path which we expect” and comments from MPC member David Miles who said there are arguments for “stating the journey now” towards a rate hike.
An increase in interest rates makes the associated currency more attractive as global investors seek yield in a global economy with historically low interest rates. Both the Federal Reserve in the US and the Bank of England in the UK are now expected to increase rates either late in 2015 or in 2016. Most expectations are for the Federal Reserve to increase rates before the Bank of England with the Bank of England more likely to raise rates in 2016.
The Pound increased to 1.5670 against the US Dollar (from 1.5598 before the inflation data) and increased to 1.4154 against the Euro (from 1.4085 before the inflation data).
The European Central Bank (ECB) will start its new government bond-buying programme on 9th March hoping to boost growth and lift inflation in the ailing Eurozone. The ECB plans to spend €60bn a month on buying sovereign bonds and some private sector assets with the purchases likely to last until at least September 2016.
In the UK the Bank of England (BoE) kept rates unchanged, meaning they have now been at their record low of 0.50% for six years. Whist none of the leading economists polled by Reuters expect the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee to raise rates before the UK general election in May, there are some expectations that the BoE may increase rates sooner than currently forecast by the markets meaning that the ECB and BoE could have diverging monetary policies, thus supporting the Pound further against the Euro.
The Euro (EUR) fell to its lowest level against the US Dollar (USD) in over 11 years hitting a low so far of 1.1008 on the interbank market. The Euro also fell against the Pound (GBP) with EUR/GBP hitting a low of 0.7224 (GBP/EUR high 1.3842).
The Pound has fallen following the release of the latest minutes from the Bank of England as all 9 Monetary Policy Committee members voted to hold UK interest rates at their low of 0.50%. In previous meetings 2 members had voted for an increase in the Bank of England interest rate. These minutes have reinforced recent market expectations that it is now unlikely that the Bank of England will increase interest rates in 2015 making the Pound less attractive.
The Pound fell against the US Dollar from an earlier GBP/USD high of 1.5180 to 1.5077 before recovering back to 1.51 whilst against the Euro the Pound fell from GBP/EUR 1.3125 to 1.3020 before recovering back above 1.3050.
Elsewhere the Euro continues to trade at its lowest level against the US Dollar since 2003 trading in the 1.15s and the Swiss Franc remains strong with EUR/CHF trading near parity at 1.0009 and USD/CHF trading at 0.8650.
The Pound has fallen this morning, most notably against the US Dollar, as UK Consumer Price Index data confirms UK inflation slowed to the least in five years last month at 1.2%, adding pressure on the Bank of England to keep interest rates at record lows for longer. Lower UK interest rates make the Pound less attractive to international investors seeking higher yield. The perception earlier this year that the Bank of England may raise rates in early 2015 had helped the Pound to appreciate to a high of 1.7191 in July against the US Dollar and 1.2875 against the Euro as recently as 1st October. As the market increasingly begins to price out imminent Bank of England rate rises the Pound trades today as low as 1.5948 against the US Dollar and as low as 1.2570 against the Euro.
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The Pound surged higher following Scotland’s decision to remain in the United Kingdom with GBP/EUR hitting a two year high at 1.2802 before falling back to 1.2706 (EUR/GBP 0.7870). GBP/USD soared to a high of 1.6523 before meeting resistance and falling back to 1.6354 and currently trades at 1.6390 in mid-morning UK trading. With the Japanese Yen performing badly this month following the Japanese government’s economic forecast downgrade the Pound hit its highest level against the Japanese Yen since October 2008, pushing GBP/JPY through 180 to a high of 180.70 before falling back to around 178 Yen to the Pound.
With the risk of Scottish independence out of the way the focus now turns back to the strength of the UK economic recovery and the timing of any rate hike from the Bank of England.
The Euro has depreciated sharply today following the European Central Bank’s (ECB) decision to cut the benchmark interest rate by another 0.10% to a new record low of 0.05%. The deposit rate was also lowered further into negative territory to -0.20%. ECB President Mario Draghi also announced the ECB will launch an asset purchase programme; buying debts from banks in a move that is hoped will add liquidity into the financial system and revive lending.
The Euro fell more than 1% against both the US Dollar and British Pound. Falling back below 1.30 against the US Dollar, hitting a low so far of 1.2969 and to a low of 0.7905 (1.2650) against the Pound. Further action including more aggressive stimulus measures such as Quantitative Easing from the ECB is still possible in the future.