With price pressures still running at a subdued level throughout the developed world, hotter-than-expected inflation readings have been hard to come by of late. Perhaps today’s Canadian inflation data marks a turning point for that trend.
Pound bulls hoping to see a big beat on the July inflation numbers were left disappointed, as the data merely met expectations. Although off its lows, sterling remained under pressure after breaking the $1.27 handle overnight following yesterday’s news of weaker-than-expected growth in wages, and amid ongoing concerns over a no-deal Brexit outcome.
Another week has flown by and what a disastrous one it has been for the likes of the Turkish lira and to a lesser degree the British pound, but once again it has been a good for the US dollar. Next week should be equally exciting as there are a few important data releases to look forward to, while the ongoing situation in Turkey could bring about further volatility – not just for the lira but the stock markets too.
In this more or less quiet week, concerns that the worsening situation in Turkey could have a contagion effect on the Eurozone, particularly lenders, and other parts of the world grabbed precedent during the last 24 hours. We believe that low volume this week has exacerbated moves in currencies and equity markets.
After the sluggish wages data yesterday, the pound was hit again this morning on news UK inflation remained flat in June, raising further doubts over an August rate hike from the Bank of England. But this was good news for the stock markets, with the commodity-heavy FTSE 100 extending its gains after a sizeable rally the day before and despite ongoing weakness in prices of crude oil and metals.
The biggest themes in the markets this week can be summarized as: U.S. dollar strength; weakness in foreign currencies – particularly where the central bank is still dovish such as the Japanese yen and Swiss franc; and positive sentiment in the markets.
It’s been a more positive start to trade on Thursday, with equity markets in the green and paring Wednesday’s losses as investors continue to weigh up what impact the latest trade tariffs will have on the global economy. While markets have typically reacted negatively to any escalation on trade, the overall impact has been relatively modest under the circumstances that suggest investors are far from panic mode right now.
It is Fed day and they are expected to raise interest rates a quarter point at 1:00 p.m. Central. What’s unknown though is the tone in which they will do such. There was a report yesterday that Fed Chair Powell wants to hold a press conference after each meeting. The Dollar jumped, Treasuries ticked down and equity markets hit a midday snag. Doing this would essentially make each meeting live, giving the FOMC additional opportunities to hike.