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Last Week’s Recap: GBP/USD started the week trading off its weekly low of 1.5532 on Monday ahead of a disappointing U.K. Trade Balance release on Tuesday that showed a deficit of -3.55 Billion Pounds versus a consensus of -3.1 Billion. Cable then rallied to its weekly high of 1.5764 on Wednesday after U.S. Trade numbers showed the deficit had increased to a surprising -$40.2 Billion in December, versus a consensus of -$35.8 Billion.
GBP/USD then traded lower towards the end of the week as BOE Governor King, speaking at a press conference on the BOE’s Inflation report, confirmed that a decision to put on hold the government’s bond purchasing program was not yet definitive.
Also, the BOE lowered its estimates on GDP growth and raised estimates on inflation in the short-term, projecting a 3% Y/Y growth rate by late 2010 and for inflation to rise to over 3% in early 2010, should interest rates remain at 0.5%. Cable ended the week at 1.5697, up 0.4% for the week.
This Week’s Outlook:
This coming week has some interesting economic data due out in the United Kingdom. The U.K. calendar starts on Monday with Rightmove House Price Index (last 0.4%M/M), followed on Tuesday by the Consumer Price Index (3.6% and 3.2% core Y/Y), plus the tentatively-scheduled BOE Inflation Letter.
Look for Wednesday to be the highlight with the Claimant Count Change (-14.6K) followed by the Monetary Policy Meeting Minutes with the vote expected at 0-0-9 against any change in policy. The U.K. employment rate is also expected to remain unchanged at 7.8%.
On Thursday, look for Public Sector Net Borrowing (-2.4B) and CBI Industrial Order Expectations (-35), plus a speech by MPC Member and BOE Director Fischer in London. Friday’s Retail Sales (-0.5%) release closes out the coming week.
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