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March 2017

Sterling still appreciating ahead of Brexit announcement

Published: Tuesday 28 March 2017

  • Sterling still appreciating ahead of Brexit announcement
  • German IFO report points to recovery
By David Johnson

This is not the weather forecast, but it was chilly up north when Theresa May met Nicola Sturgeon and made it clear that another Scottish independence vote before Brexit will not be fandabidozi. This meeting had no impact on the Pound, which strengthened against most other currencies yesterday. The impending triggering of Article 50 appears to be viewed with more enthusiasm by the markets than we might have expected. The lack of UK data today should leave the Pound meandering in its current tight ranges, but there are a number of central bankers speaking throughout the day, so who knows what might come out.
Germany’s IFO survey delivered a pleasant surprise. At 112.3, the Business Climate Index was higher than forecast and paints a picture of a country in recovery mode. The supervisory board of the European Central Bank (ECB) says Eurozone banks have improved their stability, but there is more to do. That’s the banking equivalent of a teacher writing ‘must try harder’ on a report card. Meanwhile, German members of the ECB are pressing the central bank to start raising interest rates and lower their bond holdings. So everyone is telling everyone else what to do whilst the Eurozone economy is still struggling to grow. The posturing ahead of UK-EU negotiations continues. German Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schauble, said “We have no interest in punishing the UK, but we also have no interest in putting European integration in danger over the UK.”  That is being touted as an anti-UK comment, but I disagree. Surely that is just eminently sensible, given Shauble’s position.
Today’s data diary is as empty as an election promise.  Minor data releases from the US later in the day will not be market movers, but traders may well start positioning themselves ahead of tomorrow’s expected Article 50 announcement from the UK Prime Minister.
And a chap in Nova Scotia has been told he cannot have a personalised licence plate on his car even though it only bears his name. Lorne Grabher had a plate with just his surname on it but authorities have said it makes a socially irresponsible statement. Deed & Poll are the words that spring to mind.

One liners 

  • It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose...until you lose. 
  • One good turn gets most of the duvet. 
  • People who say "I slept like a baby" usually never had one. 
  • Remember the journey of a thousand miles begins with your Dad saying... "I know a shortcut"
  • A torch is just a tube for keeping dead batteries in
  • Duct tape is like the force, it has a light side and a dark side and it holds the universe together. 

Today's Major Economic Releases

Market BST Data/Event Previous Expected
USD 15:00 US: Conference Board Consumer Confidence 114.8 113.9
USD 15:00 US: Richmond Manufacturing Index 17 16
CAD 15:10 Bank of Canada Governor Poloz Speaks    
USD 18:00 Federal Open Market Committee Member Kaplan Speaks    

For more information, infographics and the latest currency insights, visit www.halofinancial.com/blog