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Daily Market Commentary UK FX

Thursday, 04 April 2013 - Market Commentary

Alex Edwards

United States Dollar

: GBP/USD initially fell yesterday following the release of weaker than expected UK Construction PMI data which came in at 47.2 in March vs. expectations for 47.7. Weaker US data was then released come the afternoon; ADP non-farm employment increased by 158,000 vs. forecasts for an increase of 203,000 and ISM non-manufacturing PMI printed at 54.4 vs. 55.9. This lead the USD lower across the board and GBP/USD traded back up to a high of 1.5160. It has since lost ground however (overnight and this morning) as investors gear up for today’s Bank of England monetary policy announcement. No change in interest rates or the bank’s QE programme is expected, although there is some risk of an increase in QE. We will have to wait until the release of the MPC minutes to find out what sort of support there is for such an increase of course. Between now and midday though, there’s likely to be a fair bit of second guessing going on. Markets will also be looking to the ECB monetary policy announcement and accompanying press conference. First up however we have UK services PMI, due at 9:30. GBP/USD opens this morning’s session at 1.5045.

We expect a range today in the GBP/USD rate of 1.4990 to 1.5200

Euro

: EUR/USD traded up from 1.2800 to a high of 1.2860 yesterday. Good corporate buying interest amid a lack of EZ economic data supported the move. A sharp fall in the value of the Japanese Yen against both EUR and USD has helped to drag EUR/USD higher too. This came following the Bank of Japan’s announcement overnight that it would double its monetary base from JPY135tn to JPY270tn by March 2015 through the aggressive purchase of long-term bonds. It was a lot more than what the market was expecting and hit the Yen hard. EUR/JPY has gapped from 119.5 to 122.50 on the back of this. At the time of writing though EUR/USD is falling; it has fallen back under 1.2800, this as investors start to get nervous ahead of the ECB monetary policy announcement later today. Whilst we’re not expecting a change in interest rates or QE markets expect ECB President Draghi to highlight recent problems in Cyprus and the implications this has for the rest of Europe. In other words we’re expecting him to be a lot more dovish than he was in his last press conference. EUR/GBP has been steady over the last day and has traded a 30 point range. It trades at .8500 currently.

We expect a range today in the GBP/EUR rate of 1.1750 to 1.1840


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