Sterling Touches 52-Week High

Sterling Touches 52-Week High


On Wednesday, the Greenback managed to cling to yesterday's gains backed by a recovery in Treasury yields, an upbeat stock market performance on tax reform remarks and easing concerns about North Korea.

On the economic release front, the National Federation of Independent Business' (NFIB) small business optimism index posted a surprise uptick to 105.3 in August vs. 105.2 in July. US PPI numbers are on the tap today with the headline figure possibly showing a 0.3% recovery while the core reading may see a 0.2% increase.

  • The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.15% at 91.743.


Sterling pound hit a near one-year high vs. the U.S. dollar backed by a stronger-than-expected inflation data. This has raised the anticipations that the Bank of England may raise interest rates and start tightening monetary policy sooner rather than later. However, some economists warn that inflation is not expected to remain very high for a long time. The inflation report came ahead of the BoE’s Monetary Policy Committee, led by Gov. Mark Carney, as its latest policy decision is due on Thursday.

On the data front, the headline CPI increased to 2.9% from 2.6% against a predicted 2.8% increase. The core CPI meanwhile also increased to 2.7% from 2.4%. Today, the markets are awaiting Employment Change in the UK, which is expected to raise by 154k from 125k. GBP/USD rose as much as 0.23% to settle at $. 1.3314.


The common currency had a mixed trading day as it reacted mostly to its contemporaries. Data was also mixed with Italian quarterly jobless rates decreasing to 11.2% from the predicted 11.3% consensus while the French private payrolls fell short of the predicated 0.5% gain to come in at 0.4%. German WPI and final CPI are up for release for next.


The Japanese currency traded in the red as increasing risk appetite lead traders to go short on the lower yielding currency. There were no reports out of Japan though today the PPI and the BSI manufacturing index are due. The former could rise from 2.6% to 3.2% while the latter could an improvement to 4.8 from -2.9.


With risk taking in play, the Swiss currency also gave up ground against its counterparts. No reports came out yesterday in support of the franc yesterday, though the PPI is due today. Traders expect to see a 0.2% uptick however downbeat data may keep markets slightly wary of the SNB.


Gold prices declined yesterday as the stock markets continued to recover around the world.

A continuous improvement in investors' appetite has been denting demand for traditional safe-haven assets and dragged the precious metal to multi-day low level of $1322 on Tuesday. The market even shrugged off N. Korea's latest threat to accelerate its plans to acquire a nuclear weapon, following a fresh round of sanctions imposed by the UN. Gold Futures - Dec 17 (GCZ7), rose as much as 0.36% to settle at $1,337.49.


Oil prices closed higher yesterday, raising gains into a second-trading session in a row as the latest OPEC report that showed oil production from the cartel declined in August for the first time since March. The monthly report issued Tuesday showed the cartel pumped 32.76 million barrels a day in August, this was a 79,100 barrel-a-day decline from July.

Investors are awaiting U.S. Crude Oil Inventories data due the day, which is expected to decline to 4160.14k from 4580k.

Crude Oil WTI Futures - Oct 17 rose as much as 0.08%, to settle at $ 48.27, while Brent Oil Futures - Nov 17 rose as much as 0.07%, to settle at 54.31.

The most important economic events:

  • GBP Claimant Count Rate (AUG): (GMT 08:30) Medium – Forecast (N/A) – Previous (2.3%).
  • GBP Jobless Claims Change (AUG): (GMT 08:30) Medium – Forecast (N/A) – Previous (-4.2k)
  • GBP Average Weekly Earnings (3M/YoY) (JUL): (GMT 08:30) Medium – Forecast (2.3%) – Previous (2.1%)
  • GBP Weekly Earnings ex Bonus (3M/YoY) (JUL): (GMT 08:30) Medium – Forecast (2.2%) – Previous (2.1%)
  • EUR Euro-Zone Industrial Production w.d.a. (YoY) (JUL): (GMT 09:00) Medium – Forecast (3.3%) – Previous (2.6%)
  • USD DOE U.S. Crude Oil Inventories (SEP 08): (GMT 14:30) Medium – Forecast (4160.14k) – Previous (4160.14k)

The prices and news mentioned in this outlook are absolutely no guarantee of future market performance and do not represent the view of ICM Capital Limited. Financial markets can move in either direction causing profits to be made or complete losses to be incurred by the trader. Each trader must decide for themselves what their risk appetite is and ensure that correct risk management procedures are in place before placing any trades.

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