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  • richard evans

ECB, Fed and BoJ all announce rates this week

Good morning

Back in the office after a great weekend on the Isle of Wight where I was lucky enough to take in not only the rugby sevens but also a terrific evening of opera with our friends at the Garlic Farm. For those who haven’t been there, it is well worth a visit. The Opera is an annual charity fund-raiser and was due to be outside but strong wind and rain meant the event was moved indoors. If anything this gave it a more special, intimate feel. I think it doesn’t matter what your musical tastes are, if someone is performing live in front of you, you cannot fail but to be captivated by their excellence.

Well done to England ladies football team who beat Haiti in their opening match of the world cup. A few disappointments over the weekend though, England lost the chance to level the Ashes series as rain wiped out play yesterday, while Spurs were due to play a friendly against Leicester in Thailand, that was also cancelled due to heavy rain. The rain didn’t stop the Open taking place, Harman took the title in pretty dismal conditions. The weather was better yesterday for me although much of it was spent sitting in traffic on my way back from IoW. And now this morning its already looking wet and miserable. Typical UK summer day! Mind you, do spare a though for those in Rhodes, and now Corfu I believe, where fires have forced the evacuation of holidaymakers. A terrible experience I am sure, but remember that the local people are suffering too, many seeing their livelihoods go up in smoke, quite literally.

To the markets, GBPUSD was trading back up around 1.2880 after testing 1.2815 or so Friday. With EURUSD at 1.1130 earlier, GBPEUR had been broadly unchanged from Friday morning levels around 1.1570 although it did follow GBPUSD lower for a bit Friday afternoon, testing 1.1520. Weaker EU PMI numbers just out have sent EUR lower, EURUSD now 1.1080 and GBPEUR at 1.1600, with GBPUSD now down at 1.2850 . USDJPY is at 141.450, bringing GBPJPY up to 182.00, the weaker yen comes as Japan shares rally over 1% overnight, bucking the general trend for Asian equities so far this week. Meanwhile China fixes USDCNY at 7.1451, the fifth fix in a row with a 7.14 handle.

The EU, UK and US PMI numbers today are important but focus this week really has to be on US, EU and Japan rate announcements. In fact BoJ meeting is possibly the less interesting now as any thoughts of a policy change this time around were dispelled by Ueda last week. Lets get this meeting out of the way and attention will no doubt turn to the meeting in September where some form of tightening may well be seen. It is likely BoJ may raise their inflation forecast on higher than expected domestic wages, according to Kanda.

Both ECB and Fed are expected to raise rates 25bps. I did think there would be some doubt over the Fed decision, I did imagine they could leave rates unchanged once again, but Powell is keen to not spook the markets and has made it pretty clear pretty clear last months ‘pause’ was just that, and rate rises resume. However I would not be at all surprised if the general sentiment from the meeting is more neutral, if not dovish.

ECB are also looking at a 25bps rise this week but it isn’t so clear after that, we have had some mixed messages from ECB officials recently so a lot of attention will be on what Lagarde has to say about ECB forward guidance. Back in late June I mentioned UBS had been looking at possible upside in EURCHF, aiming for parity. They do still see upside in the longer term but have adjusted their view, seeing potential for further weakness in the shorter term.

Spanish elections over the weekend failed to produce a clear winner. The opposition conservatives claimed victory but without the numbers needed for a majority. It is unlikely the party leader Mr Feijoo will be able to form a government, which has led to talk of another election maybe later in the year. The Socialists seemed happiest of all despite the loss, saying the attempt to overthrow them has failed. The major European stock indices are opening lower but Spain’s Ibex has seen larger declines so far, currently 1.25% down.

Have a great day

- 09.00 EU manufacturing, services PMI

- 09.30 UK S&P manufacturing, services PMI

- 14.45 US S&P manufacturing, services PMI

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