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  • richard evans

Currency markets in a holding pattern

Good morning

Tight ranges in most currency pairs overnight, with GBPUSD 1.2420, EURUSD 1.0805, USDJPY 138.55 and USDCNY fixing higher again at 7.0326. We’ve not had a great deal of news to report, US debit limit talks still seem to be at a stand off with time running out.

Central bank officials seemed hawkish with ECBs de Cos says ECB will have to keep rates high for a long time while Feds Bullard said he wouldn’t mind two more 25bps rate rises in 2023 and the feeling is that even if we do see a pause next month then that pause should come with a clear message that there is more tightening to come.

Before then we have EU, UK and US PMI readings which do have the ability to move markets from time to time. We will also hear from BoEs Bailey this morning as he addresses a House of Commons committee, while UK inflation numbers will be released early tomorrow morning.

RBNZ rate announcement due in the early hours of tomorrow morning, a 25bps rise is expected although we cannot discount a 50bps rise. If you remember Feb 2023, I’d been wondering whether RBNZ would keep rates on hold and they went and raised 50bps then so they are quite comfortable offering surprises to the market. We will also get updated economic and interest rate forecasts. Their rates are currently 5.25% and RBNZ have said they see a peak around 5.5%. They could blow through this peak tomorrow, or they could raise 25bps and warn we could be in for a higher peak. Tempted to look at some upside NZD trades just in case, although GBPNZD downside options look particularly expensive at the moment, with RBNZ and UK inflation numbers both on the agenda.

I’ve been watching with interest the debates and news reports going on about water quality and the amount of raw sewage being leaked into our rivers by water companies. A local chap has been at the front end of complaints for some time now but it has taken a while to really get into mainstream news. It really is quite remarkable. Water companies suggest they have no choice but to release untreated sewage from time to time. They say it will take billions of pounds to resolve, money they don’t have and are looking to ask customers for additional money.

And then the reports come about them paying vast dividends to shareholders. The numbers are quite absurd, with many billions of pounds going to shareholders and millions going to water company executives, all while the service is deteriorating. As you know I am not against privatisation but this really does seem like a case where it simply hasn’t worked and has only served to line the pockets of investors and bosses when instead that money should go towards fixing the problems.

And my energy bill had gone up again…..don’t get me started!

- 09.00 EU HCOB manufacturing, services PMI

- 09.30 UK S&P manufacturing, services PMI

- 10.15 BoEs Bailey speaks

- 14.45 US S&P manufacturing, services PMI

- 15.00 US new home sales

- 23.45 NZ retail sales

- 03.00 RBNZ monetary policy statement

- 03.00 RBNZ rate announcement

- 04.00 RBNZ press conference

- 07.00 UK CPI, RPI, PPI

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