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March

Sterling holding up well in spite of politics

Published: Friday 15 March 2019

  • Bank of Japan keeps rates on hold but worries about global economy
  • Positive data expected from the USA today
​​By David Johnson

Lordy be…Friday got here quickly didn’t it? Beware the ides of March, as someone once said. The UK Prime Minister will be watching her back and that’s a fact. Et tu colleagues!
 
Once again, the day will be dominated by Brexit shenanigans after Sterling rose for most of Thursday and then slipped off its pedestal when MPs voted by a huge margin to delay the date that the UK will leave the EU. If they haven’t managed to agree on a deal in two years and nine months, it is hard to see what will change between now and the revised date of 30th June and, of course, the EU has to agree to the change as well. It is not at all certain that will happen.
 
Sterling still starts Friday around $1.3250 and €1.17 at the mid-market level but goodness only knows what the clowns our dutiful MPs at Westminster will cook up for us today.  As far as the UK goes, there is nothing to write home about on the data front, so Sterling is at the mercy of the politicos.
 
Japan leave interest rates on hold
 
Overnight, we heard that the Bank of Japan dutifully left their base rate on hold as they bemoaned the state of the global economy and expressed their fears of a further slowdown.
 
Bad news for Australian and New Zealand Dollars
 
Talk of a delay before the US and Chinese Presidents can meet regarding trade talks weakened the currencies of the countries that support China and rely on commodity exports. So the Australasian and Canadian Dollars plus the South African Rand and others around Asia suffered a little. 
 
Interesting times for the US Dollar
 
The US Dollar is also at the weak end of its spectrum but we are expecting improvements in today’s US data. That includes the Empire State Manufacturing Index, Industrial Production and the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index. So don’t be surprised if the US Dollar is a little more expensive later in the day. Clearly that would mean the Pound is a little cheaper for USD sellers too. So there’s the silver lining.
 
Happy Birthday, internet!
 
And who would have thought that the very first internet domain name www.symolics.com was registered on this day in 1985? Happy 34th birthday, internet old boy!  You are looking a bit long in the tooth, but, in true stereotypical style, you break down very easily. 

Brexit jokes
 
When a European official says something ridiculous:
Are EU having a laugh?
 
When the Leave vote wins by a landslide:
Brussels Rout.
 
When Donald Tusk says something disapproving of the UK:
Tsk tsk, Tusk.

Today's Major Economic Releases

Market BST Data/Event Previous Expected
EUR 10:00 EU: Final Consumer Price Index 1.5% 1.5%
EUR 10:00 EU: Final Core Consumer Price Index 1.0% 1.0%
CAD 12:30 Canada: Manufacturing Sales -1.3% 0.4%
USD 12:30 US: Empire State Manufacturing Index 8.8 10.1
USD 13:15 US: Capacity Utilization Rate 78.2% 78.5%
USD 13:15 US: Industrial Producton -0.6% 0.4%
GBP 13:30 UK: Conference Board Leading Index -0.5% -0.5%

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