Currency Note

Sterling-watchers poised for tomorrow’s GDP data

By Sharyh Murray-Francis February 9th, 2023

UK government discussed the possibility of supporting Ukraine with jets as a “long-term solution” yesterday.

Today is another quiet day for UK data releases. Investors prepare to digest a slew of key economic data over the course of tomorrow, including the UK’s latest GDP and industrial production figures.

A spokesperson for the prime minister has confirmed the PM has tasked the defence secretary with investigating what jets the UK can provide to the Ukrainian military as a “long-term solution” rather than a “short-term capability, which is what Ukraine needs most now.”

In energy news, the UK’s largest gas supplier, Equinor, has been accused of “profiteering” from the ongoing energy crisis and steeper household bills. This followed the Norwegian state-owned oil company posting record annual earnings of £62bn.

We’ve just seen the latest inflation data from Germany which was lower than markets were anticipating. The preliminary estimates revealed yearly inflation edged higher to 8.7% in January from a four-month low of 8.6% in the previous month. However, the rise was still below market forecasts of 8.9%.

The picture turned rather gloomy on yesterday in the US stock markets. The blue-chip Dow lost 100 points while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 were down roughly 0.6% and 1.2%, respectively.

In the US, the latest initial jobless claims will be released at lunchtime today. Markets have forecast that the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits will rise to 189,000.

Both the board of governors of the Federal Reserve, Christopher Waller and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve bank of Philadelphia will speak tomorrow on inflation. Dollar-watchers will be listening closely.

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GBP: Investors look ahead to Friday’s GDP

Sterling continues to lose monthly gains against the euro and the US dollar as investors look ahead to tomorrow’s economic data releases. Markets are expecting GDP figures of 0.1% following a 0.3% contraction in the previous quarter.

Market watchers will be keen to see if today’s quiet data day will have any impact on an already pressured pound.

GBP/USD over the past year

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EUR: EUR/USD still weak

Sterling has made weekly gains against the euro but remains weaker against the single currency on monthly comparison as investors await Friday’s GDP data.

It is a similar story for EUR/USD which is lower on strength compared to this time 7 days ago but stronger on a monthly footing.

USD: Quiet day for Dollar-watchers

It is a quiet day for dollar-watchers however things pick back up tomorrow with two speeches from the Federal Reserve, the University of Michigan consumer sentiment and The US government monthly budget statement.

In its previous meeting, the Fed’s Chair Jerome Powell reiterated that the disinflationary process has begun. Powell also warned that if robust labour data continues, the terminal level of the Fed funds may be higher than expected.

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