Minutes Move The Market

18 July, 2013

Simon Eastman

Yesterday the markets were waiting with anticipation for the BoE minutes to be released, as speculation as to whether Mark Carney would have voted for further asset purchase (QE) was high. The pound had been suffering over the past couple of days, under pressure from poor inflation figures and the continued pressure from more QE which has been weighing on sterling for months.

Come 9.30am, the markets saw the release of UK unemployment figures, which fell by 57,000 last month. This surprise yet positive figure gave the pound a welcome boost against all currencies, coinciding with the minutes release which again showed a surprise, as it read “unanimous votes” to keep interest rates and asset purchase at “current levels”. No votes at all for further QE, a turnaround from recent months and a welcome result for those with sterling to sell. The pound jumped a cent against the euro and 2 cents against the US dollar pretty much within minutes.

Having removed the QE crux from its back, at least for the time being, where can sterling go from here? Resistance levels were hit yesterday so unless it can build on the positivity with positive data, it’s likely to struggle to push higher. Sterling is already trading a little lower than yesterday.

Today we have UK retail sales out this morning, which is always a good indication of how the economy is doing and can cause much volatility in the markets if the figure is different from expectations. Aside from this it’s fairly quiet on this side of the pond, while in the States we see a few low key releases after lunch along with key jobless data and an eagerly awaited speech from FED president Ben Bernanke. He has in the past moved the markets massively with his comments, will today be the same?

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