The suffering of sterling

September 30, 2015

We reach the last trading day of what has been a fairly turbulent quarter for both equities and also FX. At the beginning, many were convinced that the Fed were on course to tighten policy during it and were anticipating the dollar increasing as a result. As it happens, the dollar is only marginally firmer overall (looking at the dollar index), but on the wider picture has gained vs. sterling, the Swiss franc and the dollar bloc on the majors. Emerging markets are another story all together. For the moment, the last day is looking a little more comfortable than earlier this week, with equities modestly firmer. The news from Japan disappointing, with both industrial production and retail sales falling to the soft side. The yen was mixed, but has sustained the move below the 120 level on USDJPY.

The interesting one has been sterling, with interest rate markets having been pricing out tightening, with the first move in rates now seen in the latter half of next year. This has drive the move above the 0.74 level on EURGBP, whilst cable was yesterday nudging level last seen early May. Carney spoke last night, but decided to talk about the environment, perhaps having given up on trying to guide markets on the timing of the first rate hike. For today, we have the final reading of GDP in the UK, with inflation data for the eurozone and the ADP release for the US ahead of Friday’s payrolls data. Volatility likely to be on the higher send given we are at quarter end.

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