GBP in buoyant mood
Good morning and welcome to supposedly the last day of the wettest winter for 250 years. On the horizon today, we have a speech from Mark Carney and we await with interest whether he will cover any monetary policy issues. This morning we have seen a strong start for GBP, raising to above 1.6700 versus USD and nearing the 1.2200 level against the Euro.
In New Zealand, there were some highly impressive figures out yesterday showing business confidence levels up at their highest levels since 1994 with GDP coming in at 6% growth.
Yesterday, Fed Chairman Yellen spoke in front of the US Senate and as has been the case throughout her short tenure kept with the company line and highlighted that the tapering will continue as planned. She also somewhat dismissed the recent poor data coming out of the US as being due to adverse weather conditions and wasn’t anything to be too concerned about. This has given the markets some hope that US data will improve.
Lots of data from Japan yesterday which seemed to show that the economy is starting to show some signs of revival. During January industrial production increased at its fastest pace since 2011, retail trade and housing exceeded expectations and core inflation matched a five-year high. But, the figures have been somewhat distorted by a weaker Yen as Japan’s need to import significant quantities of food and energy (all of its nuclear power stations remained closed), combined with a lower exchange rate, distort the headline CPI figure.
We are also getting inflation data from Germany this morning which is expected to join Spain, Italy and France in its weakness. This could well invite more pressure on the ECB to react and in the longer term could further weaken the Euro.