Sterling holds up on positive UK data

Today's Highlights

  • Sterling holds up on positive UK data

  • Euro still strong as QE unwinding discussed

  • Improved Canadian data expected

 

Current Market Overview

Heft your way past all the Conservative party manifesto stuff in the newspapers and you will eventually get to the real news from yesterday. You’ll probably need a machete and a local guide to do that by the way. The European Central Bank is starting to plan a reduction in their €2.3 trillion of bond purchases, but there are internal disagreements as to how and when that should start. It didn’t do much to the value of the Euro, which has strengthened through this week, but it does set another cat amongst the central bank pigeons.

Yesterday also brought us UK Retail Sales. The data showed a surprise 2.3% spike in sales in April - more than double the market forecasts - and that powered the Pound above USD1.30 but it remained subdued against the resurgent Euro. This morning brought us the CBI Industrial Trends survey and that was expected to be a tad weaker than previously. However, the index reading was 9 against a forecast of 4. That is another pleasant surprise for the Pound, which has risen a little on the news.

This afternoon is pretty quiet as far as hard data is concerned. However, President Trump is in Saudi Arabia today, so there is almost unlimited scope for surprises there.

From Canada we will get Retail Sales and Consumer Inflation data. This is expected to be positive, with inflation around 1.7% and retail growth in the 0.4% growth area. That will help the Canadian Dollar which has been hampered by weakness in its US counterpart.

And I loved the story that King Willem-Alexander of Holland has been moonlighting as a KLM pilot whilst running the country. He sees it as a hobby and doesn’t disclose his identity when he flies. That’s just how laid back the Netherlands really are.

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