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British Pound Volatility Likelier on Firm

British Pound Volatility

The British Pound Volatility in UK CPI figures headline the forex market economic calendar in European trading hours.

The headline year-on-year inflation rate is expected to remain unchanged at 0.5 percent in April while the core figure – a measure of the underlying price growth trend that excludes volatile components like food and energy – ticks lower from 1.5 to 1.4 percent.

Forex market news-flow out of the UK has increasingly underperformed relative to consensus forecasts since early April, hinting that economists’ models may be calibrated for a rosier environment than reality has confirmed. This opens the door for a downside surprise, though the implications of such an outcome for the British Pound Volatility seem limited considering there is little room for deterioration in the BOE policy outlook. Indeed, a rate hike is not expected until late 2017.

On the other hand, an upside surprise clashing with status-quo bets and forcing a degree of portfolio readjustment may encourage British Pound Volatility. Leading survey data from forex market Economics offers some evidence in favor of such a narrative: deflationary pressure in the construction sector continued to ease while service-sector price growth hit the highest level in 27 months in April. A firm print may boost Sterling in the near term but follow-through may prove limited while traders remain pre-occupied with the “Brexit” referendum.

Later in the day, US CPI data captures the spotlight. The report is expected to show the market spread between headline and core CPI hit a three-month low, which may bolster the Fed’s argument that transitory disinflationary pressure is fading and lay the groundwork for a sooner rate hike than investors have accounted for. Indeed, Fed Funds futures imply a mere 4 percent probability of tightening next month.

Figures suggesting a more hawkish posture are likely to drive the US Dollar higher, rekindling last week’s upside momentum after yesterday’s corrective pullback. Sentiment-sensitive currencies seem likely to underperform in such a scenario, with the Australian and New Zealand Dollars following share prices downward.


Rev Francis Waive

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