A disappointing end to an otherwise positive week for sterling saw it lose ground across the board on Friday, even with no significant economic data being released from the UK. Sterling gave back all gains made against the euro earlier in the week, and ended at a comparable level to where it had been last Monday. The British currency did however perform better against the US dollar, despite conceding some ground following better-than-expected inflation data from the US.
The week ahead starts on a relatively quiet note for sterling, with no fundamental data releases expected until tomorrow when inflation figures for the month of August will be released; this is forecast to fall slightly to 0.0%. Following a surprise increase in July, any positive inflation figure will be gladly welcomed by investors. Employment data on Wednesday is expected to provide further proof that slack in the economy continues to be taken up, with wage growth of 2.5% forecast. Retail sales data on Thursday should show some increase over July’s figures, whilst the Bank of England’s quarterly bulletin on Friday will include commentary on market developments and monetary policy operations.
But the real news will emanate from the US and whether or not the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates. The consensus is not, but, we may very well be surprised, which will see major movements in currencies happen very quickly.