Today's news headlines:
'UK public services need more cash to arrest further decline, says damning report'. Institute for Government, a non-partisan think-tank, has released a report on the state of UK public services that makes for a bracing read. It details a decade of mismanagement and chronic austerity that has left virtually every area of public service facing a critical shortage of competent staff. For instance, England has recruited only 17% of the target number of trainee physics teachers, and the NHS backlog rate for basic diagnostic testing is still at pandemic-period levels. We'd recommend seeking this article out and reading it fully. (Financial Times)
'Majority of Fed officials backed quarter-point rate rise in February'. The latest Fed meeting minutes indicate that FOMC policymakers are united in their decision to reduce the pace of rate hikes from 50-75bps to a more hospitable 25bps. There was still an emphasis on the level of inflation in relation to the pace of economic moderation, but the direction of travel seems to be positive. Policy aims to focus on sustaining high-interest rates as a primary tool for inflation control. (Financial Times)
Fed comments have reigned in interest rate speculation and narrowed estimates of the so-called terminal rate. Not surprisingly, both US treasury yields and the USD Index have softened into this morning's session. Our eyes are on the Bank of England speakers today.
UK MPC Member Mann speaks: 9:30 AM
UK MPC Member Cunliffe speaks: 10:45 AM
UK CBI Realized Sales: 11:00 AM
US Prelim GDP q/q: 1:30 PM
US Unemployment Claims: 1:30 PM
GBP/USD – 1.2060
GBP/EUR – 1.1360
EUR/USD – 1.0620
USD/CAD – 1.3525
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*Indicative interbank rates taken on the day of writing. Please speak to your Dealer to find out the current rates available for you.