Following the extension to Article 50 given by the EU, sterling has remained uncharacteristically stable. The pound made slight gains against the US dollar, reaching a high of 1.2945. Against the euro, trading remained between 1.1570 and 1.16. With the Bank of England meeting on Thursday, it is unlikely there will be any large movements until then. Markets are not anticipating a rise in interest rates until early 2020 now, however the accompanying speech usually provides investors with some information.
The week ahead:
The main event for the pound will be the above-mentioned Bank of England rate meeting on Thursday at 12.00 BST. The accompanying statement from Governor Mark Carney is scheduled for 12.30 BST. The other major release for the week will be PMI’s for April. Manufacturing PMI will be released at 9.30 BST on Wednesday, construction is on Thursday and services rounds the week off at 9.30 on Friday. Local elections could also play a part due to Parliament’s current level of instability.
The main event for the euro this week will be preliminary GDP estimate. Due out on Tuesday at 10.00 BST, data is forecast to show a rise from 0.2% to 0.3%. Unemployment data is due to be released at the same time, forecast to remain the same as last month at 7.8%. On Friday, flash inflation will be released at 10.00 BST, forecast to show an increase to 1.6% from 1.4%. Although the ECB has no intention of raising interest rates in the near future, high inflation will still be taken as a positive by investors.
The US dollar is likely to have a turbulent week, the main event will be the Federal Reserves meeting on Wednesday. Due to start at 19.00 BST, the Fed will confirm the interest rate and there will be an accompanying press conference. The main movement will likely depend on whether a cautious tone is maintained, or if there is a more hawkish approach following strong Q1 GDP data. The second main data release will come on Friday at 13.30 BST in the form of non - farm payroll and average earnings. The week is rounded off by speeches from several FOMC members, taking place between 15.15 BST and 20.00 BST on Friday afternoon.