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FOREX: British Pound Gains Ahead of CPI Release. Will it Last?

FOREX: British Pound Gains Ahead of CPI Release. Will it Last?

2011-05-17 07:31:00
Ilya Spivak, Sr. Currency Strategist
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Overnight Headlines

  • Australian Dollar Gains as RBA Minutes Take on Mildly Hawkish Posture
  • Japanese Yen Broadly Sold as BOJ’s Shirakawa Hints Further Easing Ahead

Critical Levels

CCY

SUPPORT

RESISTANCE

EURUSD

1.4081

1.4245

GBPUSD

1.6347

1.6337

The Euro was little changed in overnight trade, probing higher to test 1.42 to the US Dollar but promptly erasing the advance late into the session as the second day of the EU finance ministers’ summit was gearing up to begin (see below). The British Pound edged higher, adding as much as 0.5 percent against the greenback ahead of a report expected to show inflation perked up in April.

Asia Session: What Happened

GMT

CCY

EVENT

ACT

EXP

PREV

1:30

AUD

Reserve Bank of Australia Meeting Minutes

-

-

-

1:50

CNY

Actual Foreign Direct Investment (YoY) (APR)

15.2%

36.1%

32.9%

6:00

JPY

Machine Tool Orders (YoY) (APR)

32.3%

-

32.3%

The Japanese Yen underperformed in overnight trade, down as much as a full percentage point on average against its major counterparts. The decline seems to owe to comments from Bank of Japan Governor Maasaki Shirakawa, who told the Parliament in Tokyo that the world’s third largest economy is in a severe state after the Tohoku earthquake and said he was determined to fight deflation, hinting further monetary easing measures may be on tap.

Minutes from the May 3 meeting of the Reserve Bank of Australia showed buoyed the Aussie Dollar as policymakers warned that core inflation had “troughed”, adding that higher rates were likely “at some point” to beat back price growth. Optimism was bolstered as the bank asserted that “mildly restrictive” policy was appropriate despite a “high likelihood” that the economy shrank in the first quarter, arguing it wise to “look through” the disastrous flooding that rocked the country beginning late last year.

Euro Session: What to Expect

GMT

CCY

EVENT

EXP

PREV

IMPACT

6:00

EUR

EU 25 New Car Registrations (APR)

-

-5.0%

Low

6:30

EUR

EU Finance Ministers Summit in Brussels

-

-

High

8:30

GBP

DCLG UK House Prices (YoY) (MAR)

-

0.7%

Low

8:30

GBP

Consumer Price Index (MoM) (APR)

0.7%

0.3%

Medium

8:30

GBP

Consumer Price Index (YoY) (APR)

4.1%

4.0%

High

8:30

GBP

Core Consumer Price Index (YoY) (APR)

3.2%

3.2%

High

8:30

GBP

Retail Price Index (MoM) (APR)

0.8%

0.5%

Low

8:30

GBP

Retail Price Index (YoY) (APR)

5.2%

5.3%

Low

8:30

GBP

Retail Price Index (APR)

234.6

232.5

Low

8:30

GBP

RPI Ex Mort Int. Payments (YoY) (APR)

5.3%

5.4%

Low

9:00

EUR

German ZEW Current Situation (MAY)

87.5

87.1

Medium

9:00

EUR

German ZEW Economic Sentiment (MAY)

4.5

7.6

Medium

9:00

EUR

Euro-Zone ZEW Econ Sentiment (MAY)

17.3

19.7

Medium

All eyes remain on Brussels for the second day of the EU Finance Ministers’ Summit. Yesterday, the sit-down produced approval for Portugal’s 78 billion euro rescue package, but this time around the focus will be on Greece as policymakers prod the beleaguered nation to commit to greater public asset sales and deeper austerity measures as preconditions for expanded aid from the currency bloc. Against this backdrop, Greece is due to sell 1.25 billion euro in 3-month bills.

On the data front, UK Consumer Price Index figuresare due to show headline inflation ticked only a bit higher to an annual pace of 4.1 percent while the Core rate – a reading excluding volatile items like food and energy – holds steady at 3.2 percent.The outcome may not have much lasting impact however considering the Bank of Englandhas amply telegraphed it expects price growth to hit as high as 5 percent and has nonetheless done nothing to reverse its ultra-loose interest rate posture. Indeed, the larger event for monetary policy this week will be the release of minutes from the central bank’s May 5 policy meeting. Meanwhile, the Germany’s ZEW Survey of investor confidence is expected to show sentiment soured May, with the closely-watched Expectations gauge hitting the lowest in five months.

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