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March 2016

Sterling awaits Bank of England announcements

Published: Monday 14 March 2016

  • Sterling awaits Bank of England announcements
  • Fed may produce further USD weakness
  • NZD still weak after surprise rate cut

I hope you had a great weekend. A weekend in which the 'In' and 'Out' camps in the EU membership debate added to their claims. President Obama urged Brits to vote for continued membership of the EU but Boris Johnson thinks that is easy to say when it doesn't affect you. Boris believes the remote control that Brussels exerts would be anathema to the US politicos and would be rejected out of hand. This has no bearing on the foreign exchange markets but it is interesting to note that the polarisation of views is expanding.  


That all capped off a tumultuous week in which the Pound was pulled from Pillar to post by some flip-flop language from the Bank of England and a week in which the European Central Bank did something similar.


This week starts with more of a fut than a fanfare. Other than Eurozone industrial production, today's data diary about as full as Donald Trump's manifesto. No I haven't seen it either. Other than a wall on the Mexican border and banning Muslims, is there one?


Anyway, barring an unforeseen central bank comments, Monday is likely to be a quiet one. That's fine though because the rest of the week is likely to be rumbustious to say the least. We will get retail sales and unemployment data from the UK along with the Budget from the Chancellor of the Exchequer and interest rate decision from the Bank of England. We are not expecting any change from the BOE but Mark Carney's comments will be watched for further indecisive views.


Last week's surprise new Zealand interest rate cut is a significant sign that the global economic recovery is fragile at best and non-existent in places. Much will be made of that when the Federal Reserve makes its interest rate decision on Wednesday. There is plenty of other US data this week but the Fed's concern over the US recovery; as influenced by the global recovery, is the key to the direction of the US Dollar.


This week also brings the NZ economic growth stats for Q4 of last year. A drop from 2.3% to 2.1% annualised growth is forecast although I wouldn't be surprised if the data undershoots that. Be ready to take advantage of any NZD weakness in the overnight market between Wednesday and Thursday.


And we are expecting some weakness in Canadian retail sales and inflation data on Friday, so there may be opportunities there for those who need to buy CAD and opportunities before then for CAD sellers.


But much more importantly than this, England are the new 6 Nations Champions and can secure the Grand Slam if we beat France next weekend. I loved seeing Scotland beat France; not just for this reason but because Scotland haven't fulfilled the promise they showed in the World Cup up until this point. It was a great spectacle. And to see England comprehensively beating Wales (until we dropped to 14 men), was heart-warming for a staunch Red Rose wearing, swing-low singer like me.


Two Pirates


Two pirates meet in a bar. One is a young fresh faces lad and the other is a salty old guy with a peg leg, a hook and an eye patch.


When he has enough rum to be brave enough, the young man asks. "How did you lose your leg?"


"Well that was off Barbados. A storm blew up and I was washed overboard in 40 foot waves. I managed to catch a bow line as I went in but before I could haul myself back on board, a shark took my leg in one bite."


"Wow." Says the young man. And your hook; how did that come about?"


"That was in Arabia. I was caught stealing meat from a merchant and the penalty for theft was to have my hand chopped off."


"That's harsh."  Says the young guy. "And the eye?"


Well I was on watch when a seagull pooped in it."


"What?" says the youngster. You lost your eye to seagull droppings?"


"Not exactly," says the old salt. "It was my first day with the hook."