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  • richard evans

Back from holiday to find lower GBP, higher USD

Well I’ve made it back after a couple of weeks holiday, had a wonderful time and although its great to be back, I’m already looking forward to the next one!

What did I miss while I was away? Well I know all about the heatwave we had here. It is quite unusual to return home after the best part of two weeks to find a lawn that doesn’t need mowing. Of course now we’re back we’ve had a little rain which is likely to see it perk up a little but it was certainly weird flying over the UK on the way home to see the usual green fields of home look very brown indeed.

Before I went away I recorded some currency prices to see the pre and post-holiday levels. Pre-holiday levels shown in brackets.

GBPUSD 1.1820 (1.2145), EURUSD 1.0025 (1.0225), GBPEUR 1.1790 (1.1870), USDJPY 137.00 (132.95), GBPJPY 161.90 (161.40), GBPAUD 1.7145 (1.7465), Gold $1743 ($1787), USDCAD 1.3000 (1.2885).

So GBP looks like a key loser and US dollar look to have found new strength although the reality is that this move came at the very end of the two weeks. Had I returned a couple of days earlier the before and after levels would have been much closer. EURUSD perilously close to parity once again and some have been comparing this move with the move back in 1999-2000 when EURUSD broke parity, bounced, and then broke a second time, reaching md 0.96s within just a few days. Will history repeat itself? Hawkish talk from ECBs Nagel, saying ECB must raise rates to battle inflation even if recession risks increase, has done little to help the single currency.

Today looks like a reaonably quiet day data-wise which allows me to settle into things gently enough, but the rest of the week looks busy with plenty of PMIs from US and Europe, US durable goods, german GDP, US GDP, and lets not forget we have the Jackson Hole central bank get together later in the week, the key being Feds Powells speech as the event has been used in the past for key policy announcements. We will see if Powell continues with the hawkish theme or if he starts to consider a potneitally slowing economy. I’d be surprised if he moved too far away from recent comments from Fed officials, along the lines of ‘more rate rises are needed to contain inflation’ although it would be an opportunity for Powell to throw in some dovish talk if he wanted to talk USD down. A 50bps rise in Sepetmeber is expected, lower than the previous 75bps rises.

Oil prices are lower, Brent now around $95 and WTI around $89.00, some 30% off the highs earlier in the year but this hasn’t been reflected in prices at the pumps, I see fuel is a little cheaper but still up around £1.70-1.80/litre, not quite the same percentage decline. There doesn’t seem to be any less traffic on the roads so I can only presume the government is raking in some hefty duties with fuel prices up here. Some potentially positive news from Iran nuclear negoatiations helping to keep a lid on oil prices for now.

China reduced 1y loan prime rates by 5bps to 3.65% and the 5y by 15bps to 4.3% which helped China shares buck the negative moves that other Aisan countries started the week with. Futures prices suggest weak openings for European stocks.

Workers at UKs biggest container port, Felixstowe, have looked at the weather forecast and deemed the sunny weather to be an appopriate time for an eight day strike as they aren’t happy with the 7% pay rise that had been offered. This follows tube and train strikes last week, I still think we’ll see more strikes perhaps from teachers and nurses at some point in the coming months when their pay rises will fall short of anything agreed with the railways.

Finally, the winner of the funniest joke of the Ednburgh fringe festival has been revealed as "I tried to steal spaghetti from the shop, but the female guard saw me and I couldn't get pasta."

Not the worst I’ve ever heard but I thin I prefer the third placed joke of ‘My attempts to combine nitrous oxide and Oxo cubes made me a laughing stock’.

- 11.00 German Buba monthly report

- 13.30 US chicago fed national activity survey

- 13.30 CAD new house prices

- 23.00 AUS S&P services PMI

- 00.00 AUS S&P manufacturing PMI

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