Marketwatch EU & UK

Daily Insights
March 22, 2024

  • The Bank of England kept interest rates on hold for a fifth consecutive meeting, with none of the nine members of the MPC voting for a hike for the first meeting since September 2021. The decision to keep the base rate unchanged was widely expected, however two hawkish members joined six colleagues to vote for a hold, while one voted for a cut. Governor Andrew Bailey, who was armed with the improved February CPI print said that inflation was “moving in the right direction” however he reiterated that, “we’re not yet at the point where we can cut interest rates.” Nevertheless, the shift in voting pattern suggests that the central bank is edging closer to its first cut. The market continues to believe that the earliest the BoE will be able to move is at the June meeting, with three cuts of 25 basis points currently priced in this year. However, a lot rides on the Federal Reserve, will many economists suggesting that the Fed will be the first of the big three central banks to cut. That said, the Swiss National Bank surprised many in the market yesterday announcing a cut to its key interest rate. The SNB became the first of the major global central banks to cut policy rates, seemingly some months ahead of its peers.
  • The BoE and the UK government received further positive news this morning with Retail sales coming out stronger than expected in the first two months of the year. Whilst the volume of goods sold in shops and online was unchanged last month, January’s data was revised up, suggesting that consumers are starting to shake off the hardship felt from the cost-of-living crisis.
  • EURUSD is a little lower this morning but continues to trade on a 1.08 handle and comfortably above key support at 1.0790. This morning, we await the release of the German IFO survey and speeches from several ECB speakers, none of which are likely to shake EURUSD out of its recent trading range.

Economic Calendar

GBP - GfK Consumer Confidence
AUD - RBA Financial Stability Review
EUR - German Import Prices m/m
CNY - Foreign Direct Investment ytd/y
GBP - Retail Sales m/m
EUR - German ifo Business Climate
EUR - German Buba President Nagel Speaks
EUR - Euro Summit
GBP - CBI Industrial Order Expectations
CAD - Core Retail Sales m/m
CAD - Retail Sales m/m
USD - Fed Chair Powell Speaks
EUR - Belgian NBB Business Climate
USD - FOMC Member Barr Speaks
USD - FOMC Member Bostic Speaks

Market Indicators

Currency Pairs
Pair High Low
eur/gbp 0.85799 0.85675
gbp/usd 1.26749 1.26341
gbp/aud 1.93811 1.92643
gbp/nzd 2.10304 2.09367
usd/jpy 151.859 151.418
eur/usd 1.08681 1.08309
gbp/jpy 192.238 191.413
eur/cnh 7.87269 7.8353
usd/cnh 7.26546 7.21608
Equities and Commodities
Nasdaq 100 18371.8
DOW 39864.7
S&P 500 5253.59
WTI 80.53
GOLD 2175.46

This document is for information purposes only and does not constitute any recommendation or solicitation to any person to enter into any transaction or adopt any trading strategy, nor does it constitute any prediction of likely future movements in exchange rates or prices or any representation that any such future movements will not exceed those shown on any illustration. All exchange rates and figures appearing are for illustrative purposes only. You are advised to make your own independent judgment with respect to any matter contained herein.

About Simon Walker


Simon Walker is head of the GPS Capital Markets trade desk in our London office where he is responsible for covering market risk in European hours. He has over 25 years’ experience in foreign exchange, working in both sales and trading.