Currency Note

Markets poised for BoE’s interest rate decision

By Christopher Nye June 22nd, 2023

The Bank of England (William Barton /

Sterling enters interest rate decision day weaker than its rival euro, with daily and weekly losses of around -0.76% and -0.74%, respectively. The pound appears stable this morning but the market remains volatile as investors anticipate the Bank of England’s (BoE) decision at 12pm. The Central Bank is expected to hike rates for the 13th consecutive time, to 4.75%.

It’s a different story for sterling against the US dollar, with GBP/USD boasting weekly gains of around 0.83%.

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At a conference on rebuilding Ukraine’s economy yesterday, the World Bank’s managing director of operations, Anna Bjerde, announced that the war-torn country will need external help for many years to come. Of those providing help, Britian will offer $3bn in World Bank loan guarantees as announced by Rishi Sunak at the Ukraine recovery summit yesterday.

Bjerde added Ukraine “also has a lot of potential to turn a lot of its assets into economic opportunity and recovery”.

European equities fell for a third consecutive day yesterday, with both the STOXX 600 and Germany’s DAX 40 losing around 0.6% respectively.

It was a similar story for Canadian stocks, which fell for a fourth session on Wednesday. The S&P/TSX Composite index fell by approximately 0.5% towards the end of the business day.

Markets will have a flurry of economic releases from the US analyse over the course of today. Initial jobless claims are scheduled for release at 1:30pm UK time, with the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits forecast to rise to 271,000.

The Federal Reserve’s (Fed’s) chair, Jerome Powell is scheduled to deliver his final testimony of the week at 3pm today. After Powell’s hawkish tone on Wednesday, economists will be listening closely for further clues on the central bank’s future monetary policy.

GBP: Pound watchers poised for economic data

With today’s key releases from the Bank of England dominating the calendar for the UK, pound watchers will have plenty to mull over ahead of tomorrow’s economic data.

On Friday, we’ll see the latest Gfk consumer confidence and retail sales data. Plus, the S&P global is set to release a selection of flash PMI readings tomorrow, which also have the potential to move sterling.

GBP/USD over the past year

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EUR: Euro strong despite lack of data

The euro enters the day stronger against the US dollar despite another quiet day on the economic data front. The single currency boasts dollar gains of approximately 1.55% since this time last week, and is also stronger than it was yesterday. Many will be keeping a close eye on how today’s BoE decision impacts GBP/EUR rates.

USD: Markets digest Powell’s testimony

Fed chair, Jerome Powell gave one of two testimonies scheduled for this week yesterday, striking a hawkish tone. Powell warned that the central bank “will continue to make decisions meeting by meeting, based on the totality of incoming data and their implications for the outlook for economic activity and inflation, as well as the balance of risks”.

Powell’s comments reaffirmed the Fed’s commitment to bringing inflation down.

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