Pound exchange rate strengthens, currency markets reflect on central bank policy changes

Philip McHugh June 18th 2018 - 2 minute read

The Pound closed out last week on a fairly stable footing against the majority of its peers, with the currency looking to consolidate Thursday’s gains after some notable movement in currency markets.

Sterling appears to be falling back again this morning however, while GBP/EUR is holding steady at €1.1442, the majority of pairings are sliding, with GBP/USD tumbling to $1.3232, GBP/CAD dropping to C$1.7449 and GBP/AUD and GBP/NZD dipping to AU$1.7790 and NZ$1.9077 respectively.

Looking to today’s session, a number of speeches by various central bank policymakers, including the ECB’s Mario Draghi, are likely to be the driving force in currency markets.

What’s been happening?

In spite of there not being any notable UK data released, the pound ticked up against the majority of its peers on Friday as Sterling appeared to benefit from a bout of profit taking across the currency market.

This came in the wake of some monumental shifts earlier in the week, following major rate decisions by both the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank (ECB).

Meanwhile the GBP/EUR exchange rate relinquished some ground at the end of last week’s session, with the pairing peeling back some of its gains in the wake of Thursday’s ECB meeting.

This appeared to be driven by some market repositioning before the close of the week’s session, following some overzealous selling earlier in the week.

Finally the GBP/USD exchange rate was met by volatility on Friday, briefly tumbling to an eight-month low before quickly rebounding to fluctuate throughout the afternoon.

This volatility was largely driven by increasing political risks as the US President, Donald Trump, announced his plans to push forward with the implementation of tariffs on $50bn of Chinese imports, fueling fears that escalating tensions could spark a trade war between the US and China.

What’s coming up?

Looking ahead, a quiet start to the week in terms of UK data is likely to see GBP investors focus their attention on the Bank of England’s (BoE) June policy meeting, taking place on Thursday.

The euro is likely to see its movement today driven by a speech from ECB President Mario Draghi, with EUR investors on the lookout for any additional information regarding the Bank’s pledge to keep rates on hold until at least summer 2019.

Meanwhile movement in the US dollar at the start of this week’s session may be driven by a speech by the Fed’s James Bullard, with the president of the St. Louis Fed possibly lifting USD if he strikes a hawkish tone.

Written by
Philip McHugh

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