The BoE Puts the Pound in the Spotlight

by Warrior2

While the BoE is the main event, the ECB Economic Bulletin and economic data from the U.S will also be in focus. Expect chatter from Capitol Hill to also influence.

Earlier in the Day:

It’s was a quieter start to the day on the economic calendar this morning. The Kiwi Dollar and Aussie Dollar were in action.

For the Kiwi Dollar

Building consents were in focus ahead of the Asian open.

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In December, building consents increased by 4.9%, following a 1.2% rise in November.

According to NZ Stats,

  • A record 11,291 new homes were consented in the 4th quarter of 2020.
  • Consents for townhouses, flats, and units rose from 8,208 (Dec-19) to 11,603 (Dec-20), accounting for almost a 3rd of all consents.

The Kiwi Dollar moved from $0.72084 to $0.76330 upon release of the figures. At the time of writing, the Kiwi Dollar was up by 0.03% to $0.7211.

For the Aussie Dollar

Trade data and business confidence figures were in focus this morning.

In December, Australia’s trade surplus widened from A$5.022bn to A$6.785bn.

According to the ABS,

  • Goods and services exports increased A$1,010m (3%) to A$37,268m.
    • The export of general merchandise rose by 4%, supported by a jump in rural goods exports (18%).
  • Goods and services imports fell A$761m (2%) to A$30,483m.
    • The import of capital goods slid by 16%, while the imports of consumption goods rose by 2%.
    • Intermediate and other merchandise goods also rose by 2%, with non-monetary gold imports up 10%.

In the 4th quarter, business confidence was on the rise. The NAB Business Confidence Index increased from -8 to +14.

According to the NAB Survey,

  • The 22-point jump was driven by a strong increase in rec & personal services. Business services, retail, and manufacturing also saw large increased.
  • Confidence turned positive across all industries and strongest in retail.

Looking at the indicators:

  • The Employment Index jumped from -14 to -1, with capacity utilization rising from 77.2% to 80.2% in the quarter.
  • Profitability rose from -1 to +13, with trading up from +1 to +16.
  • Forward orders were also on the rise, with the indicator up from -9 to +6.
  • Exports saw a modest increase from -5 to -4.
  • Inflationary pressured remained soft, however. Final product prices were flat in the 4th quarter, up marginally from -0.1% in the 3rd

The Aussie Dollar moved from $0.76330 to $0.76315 upon release of the data. At the time of writing, the Aussie Dollar was up by 0.31% to $0.7636.

Elsewhere

At the time of writing, the Japanese Yen was down by 0.01% to ¥105.04 against the U.S Dollar.Advertisement

The Day Ahead:

For the EUR

It’s a quieter day ahead on the economic calendar.

German construction PMI figures for January and Eurozone retail sales figures for December will be in focus.

Following some quite dire retail sales figures from Germany, expect the Eurozone’s retail sales figures to draw the greatest interests.

Lockdown measures have extended into February raising the prospects of a continued decline in spending through the quarter.

From the ECB, therefore, expect the ECB Economic Bulletin to have the greatest influence on the day. How the ECB sees lockdown measures effecting growth for 2021 will be key.

At the time of writing, the EUR was down by 0.01% to $1.2035.

For the Pound

It’s a busier day ahead on the economic calendar. January construction PMI figures are due out ahead of the main event of the week.

Later today, the BoE will deliver its monetary policy decision.

While the markets are expecting the BoE to stand pat, any dissent or talk of the need for more support would weigh on the Pound.

January’s PMI numbers and service sector PMI figures in particularly were woeful. Hopes of a rebound supported by high vaccination rates across the UK may allow the BoE to sit back for now, however.

At the time of writing, the Pound was down by 0.05% to $1.3640.

Across the Pond

It’s a quieter day ahead on the economic calendar.

The all-important weekly jobless claims figures will be in focus later today.

Factory orders for December and 4th quarter unit labor costs and productivity numbers are also due out. These should have a relatively muted impact on the Greenback, however.

Away from the economic calendar, chatter from Capitol Hill will need continued monitoring.

At the time of writing, the Dollar Spot Index was down by 0.05% to 91.124.

For the Loonie

It’s yet another particularly quiet day on the economic data front, with no material stats to provide the Loonie with direction.

The lack of stats will leave the Loonie in the hands market risk sentiment and crude oil prices on the day.

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