British Pound Could Bounce on BRC Retail Sales and Nationwide Consumer Confidence

The British pound weakened today with no UK economic releases to alleviate the pain. However, tonight is a different story as the market awaits a handful of announcements ahead of the Bank of England rate decision later this week.

Expected later tonight, both BRC retail sales and Nationwide consumer confidence figures are estimated to revive the recently downtrodden sterling. Although there are no expectations for the retail sales report, sentiment is high that the survey will repeat the 6.2 percent rise seen last month. Consumer confidence is also expected to advance. Both reports will set the underlying currency up well heading into Thursday’s rate decision. The question now remains, will speculators be handed another surprise this time around? The Bank of England, a central bank known for catching the market off guard, is expected to raise rates by 25 bp. There is a minority favoring a 50bp rate hike and another group favoring unchanged rates. Either way, with volatility as low as it has been the decision may have more impact than some traders are anticipating.