Pound Targets 2.0200 as BoE Hikes

[U][B]Talking Points[/B][/U]

  • Australian Dollar: Commodity prices reach 6 year high on dairy increases
  • Euro: Awaits ECB press conference, keep rate at 4%
  • Pound: BoE Hikes as expected
  • Canadian Dollar: Ivey on tap
  • Dollar: ISM Services on tap

[U][B]Pound Targets 2.0200 as BoE Hikes[/B][/U]
As expected the Bank of England hiked its overnight rate by 25bp to 5.75% expanding its interest rate advantage against the dollar, euro and the yen, but in its post rate hike statement the UK central bank tempered its hawkishness by noting that, “CPI inflation is likely to continue to fall back to around the 2% target in the course of this year.” Still the MPC members left the possibility of further rate hikes on table by stating that, "Credit and broad money continue to grow rapidly. The pace of expansion of the world economy remains robust?Although pay pressures remain muted, the margin of spare capacity in businesses appears limited and most indicators of pricing pressure remain elevated."
From the wording of the statement it is clear that UK central bankers continue to be concerned about the double digit growth of the country?s M3 money supply and will remain vigilant in containing further credit expansion. Therefore, while for the time being the BoE appears to be sidelined, chances are good that it will raise rates once again to 6% level before the year?s end and this theme should provide support for the pound against the other majors over the next several months.
In the near term the currency could come under some profit taking pressure in a classic “buy the rumor sell the news” dynamic. Indeed, the unit had a very hard time breaking above the 2.0200 barrier in the aftermath of the release and was actually pulled lower right after the news before rebounding smartly. Whether it can clear the 2.0200 level and head higher from here, will depend in large part on US data in the next two days.
If both ISM services and the NFP miss their targets the pound could well catapult higher, zeroing in on the 2.0500 figure. If US economy show material signs of slowdown, the pound will effectively become the only show in town for speculative capital seeking to capture ever increasing yields. If on the other hand, the market sees some positive news out of the US docket, cable could come in for a round of profit taking as traders will reason that BoE will stand down for at least several months in a row before implementing further rate hikes. Nevertheless, the pivotal 2.000 level which only a short while ago was considered to be resistance in the pair, will now become support as relative growth and relative interest rate differentials make cable the magnet of speculative order flow in the currency market for the time being.

[U][B]FX Upcoming[/B][/U]