Today's news headlines:
‘Omicron Seen Trumping Inflation for Bank of England This Week’. Policymakers at the Bank of England are set to leave UK interest rates at historically low levels this week, with the threat of the Omicron variant causing heightened uncertainty for officials. Markets are pricing in just a 40% chance of an increase—down from nearly 100% last month—with the BoE now most likely to raise rates for the first time in February next year. Monetary Policy Committee member Michael Saunders, who voted for a rate hike in November, commented that he’d be weighing up the impact of Omicron before voting to liftoff rates. (Bloomberg)
‘Boris Johnson Faces Battles on All Fronts as Controversies Mount’. The UK’s Prime Minister is losing the support of his Conservative Party while simultaneously slipping behind in the polls as he faces another week of seemingly self-inflicted turmoil. Recent controversies over 2020’s Christmas parties and the resignation of disgraced MP Owen Paterson have proved unwelcome distractions from fighting the surge in new Covid cases. Labour Leader, Kier Starmer, told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that Johnson has damaged his own authority: ‘He’s now so weak, his party’s so divided, he can’t deliver the leadership that this country needs’. (Bloomberg)
This morning, US and European equity index futures were both higher in anticipation of a slew of central bank decisions this week. In currencies, the Pound retreated on Boris Johnson’s announcement that the UK could face a ‘tidal wave’ of Omicron cases.
Rightmove House Price Index m/m: -0.7% vs -0.6% previously
BoE Stress Test results: 5:00PM
BoE Financial Stability Report: 5:00PM
BoE Financial Policy Committee meeting minutes: 5:00PM
BoE FPC Statement: 5:00PM
BoE Governor Andrew Bailey speaks: 5:30PM
GBP/USD – 1.3230
GBP/EUR – 1.1730
EUR/USD – 1.1280
USD/CAD – 1.2743
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