United States Dollar: It was another good day for the pound against the greenback yesterday as UK CPI data came in at a 28-month high which lifted the GBP/USD pair to the 1.6400 level, its strongest level since January 2010. Consumer prices were shown to have risen 4.4% year on year, above analyst expectations of 4.2% and retail prices also came in well above expectations at 5.5%. These strong figures have now shifted attention back on the Bank of England and the question of when they will look to raise rates in order to combat rising price pressures. Other sterling supportive data was CBI manufacturing data, which came in at its highest level since March 2008. Today is another big day for cable, with the release of the latest BoE minutes, which will reveal if any other MPC members have joined Weale, Dale, and Sentance in calling for rate hikes and UK Chancellor George Osborne will be delivering his budget to the market. A hawkish result from the BoE minutes and cable bulls will be hoping that GBP/USD can push towards last year’s highs of 1.6460. GBP/USD opens this morning at 1.6364.
– Expected range today in the GBP/USD: rate of 1.6270 to 1.6460
– Expected range today in the GBP/EUR: rate of 1.1450 to 1.1590
– Expected range today in the GBP/AUD: rate of 1.6120 to 1.6300
– Expected range today in the GBP/NZD: rate of 2.2010 to 2.2300
Euro: The single currency fell back from its recent 5-month highs against the USD yesterday with sovereign debt concerns back on the scene, as rumours circulated the market that an Irish bank had missed an interest repayment on its debt obligations, and the market was also focussed on Portugal, as the nation’s main opposition party continued to vow to vote against proposed austerity measures. Focus today will be on Portugal’s parliamentary vote on the nation’s austerity package, which without any definitive decision could lead to further uncertainty ahead of the EU leaders meeting on Thursday where members are due to finalise the details of the all important EFSF. The strong UK CPI reading helped sterling make much needed gains against the euro on Tuesday, its move upward fuelled further by the aforementioned sovereign debt concerns and we could see more gains for GBP/EUR today if UK rate hike expectations are bolstered by hawkish BoE minutes given the currency pair’s correlation with EU/UK yield differentials. GBP/EUR opens today at 1.1534.
Aussie and Kiwi Dollars: The GBP/AUD and GBP/NZD pairs traded in consolidation mode yesterday, with the former trading in a 1.6150-1.6250 range and the latter moving between 2.2000-2.2170, as AUD/USD continued to recover as concerns over global issues eased up somewhat. Overnight we have seen the New Zealand current account balance come in worse than expected and investors will be looking to the nation’s GDP release this evening for more clues on the state of the New Zealand economy. GBP/AUD and GBP/NZD open this morning at 1.6220 and 2.2102 respectively.
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