This morning we saw a string of negative economic data from Eurozone and UK. French and Italian Industrial production m/m both came out worse than expected. UK Manufacturing Production m/m, expected flat at 0%, came out much worse at -1.1% and Industrial Production fell -1.1% m/m. According to these figures, the UK’s recovery shown in the industrial sector over 2013 and 2014 abruptly halted in 2015. Despite today’s weak data the Pound is currently bullish against the Euro, largely down to the Euro feeling the effects of yesterday’s banking turmoil and stock rout.
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The focus of today is Janet Yellen’s speech to the House and Senate. Yellen highlighted that global financial instability coupled with concerns over China’s weaker currency and economic outlook have slowed the pace of future US rate hikes. She stated that despite US labour market figures remaining solid, creating 150k jobs in January, the rate of inflation is still way below the Fed’s 2% target. The shortfall has been exacerbated by a stronger USD and a drastic fall in oil prices.
As a result, some economists believe that the Fed has trimmed its expectation of multi rate hikes this year, with only perhaps one or two now on the cards, with the first potential hike not taking place until June at the earliest.
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