It’s going to be a big day for the pound today ahead of a host of data releases as well as a trifecta of data announcements from the Bank of England, which some in the markets have dubbed Super Thursday, as markets look for clues as to the timing of a possible interest rate rise, from a tape bomb of announcements just after midday. This week’s UK economic data served to paint a rather mixed picture for the UK economy at the beginning of Q3, with construction and services data weakening slightly more than had been anticipated, though manufacturing did beat expectations. The release this morning of the latest industrial and manufacturing production numbers for June though are likely to give a steer on whether we get an upward revision to the recent Q2 GDP numbers that were released at the end of last month. In May we saw manufacturing production slide 0.4% and the expectation is for an improvement in June to 0.1%, with industrial production data also showing a gain of 0.1%. While we aren’t expecting any change to rates from the Bank of England today, with the latest rate decision, we will be able to get a window on the discussions immediately after the fact, instead of having to wait two weeks to see what was discussed and whether there was any dissent. Expectations are for the consensus of 9-0-0 since the beginning of the year to break along the same lines we saw at the back end of 2014, with potentially Martin Weale and Ian McCafferty calling for a modest rise in the base rate, with the remaining seven standing pat. A move against expectations would be for an additional member to vote for a rate rise, or for there to be unanimity and a 9-0-0 consensus. We will also get some colour on the Bank’s outlook for rates, growth and inflation with the release of the quarterly inflation report, followed by a press conference from Governor Carney at 12:45pm. Will Governor Carney be as adept at managing market expectations about the potential glide path of rates, as ECB President Mario Draghi has proved to be in his tenure as head of the ECB, or will he live up to his moniker as the “unreliable boyfriend?” What Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart gave to the US dollar bulls earlier this week with one hand, his counterpart on the FOMC and permanent Fed member Jerome Powell took back with the other, when he stated that he remained far from convinced about the merits of a rate rise in September. Mr Powell’s cautious tone contrasted significantly with Lockhart’s, which is significant in that they remain fairly close in terms of their overall stance on the need for a rate rise this year. They are both viewed as centrists which would suggest that if Mr Powell is still cautious, then the other more dovish members are likely to be even more so, meaning that the Atlanta Fed President could be the US equivalent of the UK’s Martin Weale, and in the minority. A disappointingly weak ADP report yesterday reinforced the cautious narrative, and while never a good arbiter of subsequent payrolls numbers, the low number has once again cast doubts about the momentum or otherwise of the US labour market. To compound the divergent nature of US economic data and the uncertainty surrounding the health of the US economy, the latest US ISM Non-Manufacturing index hit its highest level since 2005, with the employment component showing a similarly sharp rise as well. This is especially important given Fed concerns about the strength of the US labour market, as suggested by last week’s statement that the Fed wanted to see “some” further evidence of a healthy labour market it is an unwelcome reminder that the US economy remains some way from its historical recovery velocity. Weekly jobless claims are expected to come in at 273k, up slightly from 267k. EURUSD – the euro continues to be range bound with an upper boundary just above 1.1100 and support down near 1.0800. A move through 1.1030 is needed to retarget last week’s high while a move below 1.0800 could well signal a move towards 1.0600. GBPUSD – the 1.5680 level remains a key resistance on the upside but we appear to be range bound for now with support near 1.5500. The 200 day MA at 1.5395 also remains a key support area. A move above 1.5700 has the potential to retarget the 1.5820 level. EURGBP – the move to 0.6950 yesterday prompted a sharp reversal but we need to get back above the 0.7030 area to argue a retest of the 0.7120 area. The 0.6930 lows remain the key obstacle to further losses towards 0.6830. USDJPY – the break above 124.50 yesterday opens up the prospect of another run at the 125.85 highs, and potentially even on to 127.20. The 124.50 level should now act as a bit of a base, but a move back below it opens up a retest of the 123.75 level and then 123.00. CMC Markets is an execution only service provider. The material (whether or not it states any opinions) is for general information purposes only, and does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment or other advice on which reliance should be placed. 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Will consensus break as markets look to Bank of England tape bomb?
20:00, 05 August 2015