Halfway to recession?
Yesterday morning saw the release of U.K GDP (Gross Domestic Product) figures for the fourth quarter of 2011 released and unfortunately they did not make great reading for the U.K. Gross Domestic Product figuresshow how much an economy grew or contracted in that particular period and the prediction was for the U.K economy to have shrunk by 0.1%
The figure actually came out at -0.2% which doesn’t sound a lot but it does however mean we are indeed closer to a recession than many had first thought.
An economy is officially in a recession when it has two consecutive quarters of negative growth and with the U.K ending the year with one there is every chance now we could start the year with our second and the Pound may drop accordingly.
We will not find out the results for Q1 2012 until April – but if indications are there that this may be negative then Sterling exchange rates may find the next few months very tough – So far in the U.K we have managed to dodge any serious winter conditions, such as the weather we saw this time last year however should it come back and the economy take a hit accordingly then this may be enough to tip the balance.
Of course there are various problems globally that will no doubt hold back many other major currencies, The Euro Zone is also expected to drop back into recession territory as a whole at points this year so there will no doubt be various buying and selling opportunities along the way. Call us today on 0044 1494 725353 should you have an upcoming requirement and let us be that extra pair of eyes and ears on the market for you.
BOE Minutes – How will further QE affect the Pound?
The Bank of England minutes were also released yesterday and the results of which are probably why the Pound did not take a nosedive yesterday. All nine members of the BOE voted in favour of interest rates staying on hold and also, which is key the (QE) stimulus plan to be left on hold for the time being. It looks like the market had slightly priced in further QE in the near term and the fact that not one member was in favour right now should delay further stimulus for another month or two.
When more money is pumped into the economy it generally does weaken the Pound, and regular readers will be aware the mere mention of this does lead to weakness for the Pound, so be aware this will be a hot topic in the coming months.
Federal Reserve minutes and Dollar Exchange rates
Last night the Federal Reserve released their minutes from the first interest rate decision of the year in the U.S. They also tend to comment on economic conditions and how they plan to tackle their economic problems going forward.
In a Statement the Fed state that they expect interest rates to remain extremely low until late 2014 which did weaken the Dollar slightly shortly after the release. Interest rate hikes generally make a currency more attractive to investors and the fact they are planning to keep this low for quite some time may put investors off of putting their money into the USD.
I personally still expect the Dollar to perform well this year due to the problems globally, if you have Dollars to purchase this could be a great opportunity for you as it wouldn’t surprise me to see the GBP-USD rates below 1.50 in the next six weeks.
However, in a press conference later on last night some slightly positive news for Dollar buyers was the fact that Ben Bernanke had stated that the Fed would still be prepared to inject financial stimulus in the near term, which has opened up the door for QE3 in the U.S. This has been expected for some time though so I do not expect this to weigh too heavily on the Dollar.
KEY DATA WATCH: U.S GDP Data Tomorrow at 13:30pm – This data could lead to a volatile end to the week as it is a key indicator as to how the U.S economy is performing. Expectations are for a reasonable jump in the right direction which could round off the week on a high for the Dollar.
RBNZ Interest Rate decision
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand kept interest rates on hold last night, giving the NZD a little more strength overnight. NZD rates are (like the AUD) closing in on the lowest we have seen in years and there is no guarantee they will be shooting back up again soon, with interest rates staying high and economic data fairly solid you may have quite a wait on your hands if you are awaiting a large movement back.
Data that may affect the Pound Today
Today is extremely quiet on the data front for the Pound and most majors, however do be aware that at any point we could hear news on the Greek debt talks. If so called ‘positive’ news comes from the talks then going on previous movements we could see some Euro strength pushing the Pound back below 1.19 and back out of arms reach of 1.20.
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