It was a weekend of watching masters at work. Roger Federer, Lewis Hamilton, Jonnie Peacock, Chris Froome, Jamie Murray and Martina Hingis, Hollie Arnold, Richard Whitehead; all were in imperious form. What a great weekend of sport.
As for the Pound, after a rough start to last week, Sterling bounced back after a Bank of England (BoE) member posited the notion of the bank ending its quantitative easing (QE) programme sooner rather than later. Monetary tightening, whether by interest rate hikes, or reducing the money supply, will tend to strengthen any currency. No doubt the Pound would be stronger, were it not for the threats to the Repeal Bill, which will bring EU law into UK law if the opposition doesn’t scupper the plan.
UK news this week includes Consumer Inflation (likely up a tad), Retail Sales (forecast to be up significantly) and a whole bunch of politics (likely to get on our nerves). Nonetheless, Sterling could well strengthen on those results.
We started this week with very strong Chinese economic growth stats. 9% growth – although it is probably not entirely reliable – has boosted share prices across Europe and strengthened the currencies of the raw material exporters, like Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada. We have seen the effect in a jump in copper, iron ore and bauxite prices as well.
The day continues with Eurozone Inflation data; the final figure for June, with previous estimates around 1.3%. The Euro is widely expected to give up some of its gains in the next month or so, as we approach the summer shut down in many EU industrial sectors and as data from the EU is still stuttering and mixed.
The rest of the day is largely devoid of heavyweight data, but overnight tonight we will get Inflation data from New Zealand, which is expected to reflect a slowdown in price rises. We will also get the minutes from the last Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) meeting. They left everything on hold, but their nervousness over housing, inflation and the strength of the Australian Dollar will be the highlights of the minutes.
And Jenni Morton-Humphreys had her racing bike stolen. It is quite a distinctive bike and so she sought to see if it was being sold by the thief. It turned up on Facebook and she made arrangements to go to view the bike. She invited the police to accompany her, but they declined. They did warn her not to put herself in danger, which was nice of them. So Jenni went to see her bike, asked for a test ride and stole it back. When Jenni gave the police the number of the bike seller, they said they couldn’t do anything because he told them he had bought it in the pub the night before.
A trainer was giving last-minute instructions to a jockey and appeared to slip something into the horse's mouth, just as a steward walked by. "What was that?" inquired the steward. "Oh nothing" said the trainer, "just a Polo". He offered one to the steward and had one himself.
After the suspicious steward had left the scene, the trainer continued with his instructions "Just keep on the rail. You're on a certainty. The only thing that could possibly pass you down the home straight is either me or the steward."