Traders thinking that based on recent MPC comments the Bank of England was preparing to start raising interest rates were hit with a bucket of ice water this morning. The MPC voted to maintain its benchmark rate at 0.25% with the number of hawkish dissenters falling to 2 from 3 as expected. The bigger surprise came from accompanying comments where the bank cut its GDP projections for 2017 and 2018. It also indicated that it is using only 2 rate hikes over the next 3 years in its assumptions with the first planned for Q3 2018, a year from now.
With the Bank of England deciding to remain in the dovish camp, Sterling sold off sharply, dropping nearly a cent against USD following the decision, a big move in forex trading. GBP also weakened relative to the Euro, sending EURGBP back up toward 0.9000. The falling pound has boosted the FTSE which is now up 0.5% on the day.
In other currency action, resource dollars like CAD and AUD continued their corrections overnight. While oil and gold have stabilized, a 0.4% drop in the copper price weighed on sentiment toward resource producing countries.
Thursday finds stock markets around the world trading flat to lower. US index futures have paused their advance with Dow futures back under 22,000 and NASDAQ futures still under 6,000. The Hang Seng, Dax and Nikkei are all down 0.25%.
Tesla Motors reported a smaller than expected loss of $1.33 per share, while sales of $2.8B beat the street. The shares rallied on the news and on anticipation of a big ramp up in Model 3 production but not enough to keep the broader index party going.
Today could be mixed for Canadian stocks. A number of companies have released earnings this morning with mixed results. Enbridge, SNC Lavalin and Cott all came in below expectations, while BCE, Gildan and particularly Canadian Natural exceeded expectations.
Service PMI reports are out today, Australia and Italy have done particularly well, the UK was better than expected and Japan was the most disappointing. US PMI reports are due mid-morning along with factory orders as traders await tomorrow’s US nonfarm payrolls and Canada employment reports.
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