ECB Hold Monetary Policy Meeting Today

16 February, 2017

Ashley Finill

Wednesday was quite a busy day with various regions releasing critical data which controlled the currency markets throughout the day. To kick-start, the markets in the morning the UK released Average earnings and the Unemployment rate. Average earnings came in 0.1% lower than what was expected, and as a result, Sterling dropped off against both the Euro and the Dollar, Unemployment figures remained the same at 4.8% but failed to give The pound a boost.

With average earnings lower than expected and inflation projected to increase, the economy could take a hit as this could put pressure on the public’s pocket, as things get more expensive while wages remain unchanged. The Euro added to Sterling’s downfall as the Eurozone posted positive trade balance figures, much better than what was predicted.

In the Afternoon it was over to the US, inflation figures were up to 2.3% which saw the dollar gain around half a cent on both Sterling and the Euro. The inflation figure would strongly indicate that a potential interest rate hike in the US may be looming. The Fed have hinted recently that a rate hike could be announced this year and the figures yesterday afternoon only aids this decision further.

The states also released industrial production later in the afternoon which came in lower than expected and as a result, the Dollar lost its gains on both the Pound and the Euro and was trading at the levels which the market opened at.

In the early hours of this morning Australia released some critical data, firstly the unemployment rate which was down by 0.1%, also employment change was also down 13.5k. However, these figures did not make a positive impact on the market as later on inflation expectation was released which suggested that inflation would be down for its next reading.

As such the RBA are less likely to opt for a rate hike should this be the case. As a result, the Australian Dollar lost over half a cent on the Pound.

On the data front for the rest of today, the ECB hold their monetary policy meeting in the afternoon at 12.30pm. The US release jobless claims, housing starts and initial jobless claim all at 1.30pm. In the late evening, New Zealand releases retail sales figures and business PMI.