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GBP poised to rise on retail sales data, US consumer sentiment likely to slide

business-articlesGBP poised to rise on retail sales data, US consumer sentiment likely to slide
UK retail sales forecast to rebound

The Pound looks set to advance later this morning, following the release of the UK’s latest retail sales figures.
Economists forecast that retailers will have fared a little better at the start of 2018, with sales expected to have rebounded from a one-year low in December.

Current predictions see sales growth climbing from -1.5% to 0.5% in January, placing them just ahead of the long-term average of 0.22%.

A rebound in sales at the start of the year may also support the possibility of the Bank of England (BoE) accelerating the pace of its monetary tightening this year.

There has been considerable speculation in the last week that the BoE could start hiking rates as early as May and a healthy retail sales report could see the odds of a hike tick even higher.

USD may rally following US housing data

The US will publish its latest housing data later today, with economists predicting that domestic housing starts will have climbed at the start of the year.

Markets expected housing starts to have risen 3.4% in January as they rebound from an 8.4% contraction at the end of 2017.

An uptick in the number of new houses being built would be a welcome start for the US construction sector this year and is likely to push USD slightly higher.

US consumer confidence expected to dip

Any gains for the US dollar this afternoon may be quickly eliminated however as markets predict US consumer confidence will have dipped this month.

The University of Michigan will publish its latest consumer sentiment reading this afternoon, with analysts predicting it will show that February’s sentiment index dipped from 95.7 to 95.5.

This would be the fourth consecutive decline in sentiment after the index struck a 13-year high of 100.7 in October.

There is the possibly that the index could print even lower than expected given the slump in stock markets seen this month.

However a larger-than-expected fall may prove to have a limited impact on USD as against a backdrop of strong employment figures and wage growth.

Upcoming Data

Friday, 16 February, 2018

09:30                     GBP Retail Sales
13:30                     USD Housing Starts
15:00                     USD Consumer Sentiment
Philip McHugh

Philip McHugh

Joining the corporate trading desk in 2007, Phil now over sees all of Currencies Direct’s corporate dealing activity. Having gained experience working with hundreds of businesses to optimise international payments processes and execute comprehensive risk management strategies, Phil currently works with a portfolio of corporate clients whilst managing Currencies Direct’s overall market exposure

Phil has FCA approval and has completed the Certificate in International Treasury Management (CertiTM)

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