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The pound drifted higher against its major counterparts in the European session on Monday, as hawkish comments from Bank of England officials intensified hopes that the central bank is likely to raise rates sooner than previously expected.

BoE policy maker Michael Saunders told The Telegraph on Saturday that inflationary surge “could become more persistent unless monetary policy responds.”

“I think it is appropriate that the markets have moved to pricing a significantly earlier path of tightening than they did previously,” Saunders said.

Saunders remarks came after a warning from Governor Andrew Bailey that inflation exceeding the BoE’s goal of 2 percent will be damaging the economy.

“A huge amount can happen between now and then so I am not going to speculate, but at the moment the forward curve would suggest that it would be higher so that would suggest inflation persistence, so transience would be longer,” Bailey said in an interview with the Yorkshire Post.

Markets are pricing in a rate hike by the end of this year following these remarks.

The pound moved up to a 3-1/2-month high of 154.22 against the yen and near a 2-week high of 1.3674 versus the dollar, from Friday’s closing values of 152.71 and 1.3611, respectively. The currency is likely to face resistance around 157.00 against the yen and 1.40 versus the dollar.

The pound touched near a 2-week high of 1.2678 versus the franc, off its prior 4-day low of 1.2609. Should the currency gains again, 1.28 is likely seen as its next resistance level.

The pound firmed to near a 2-month high of 0.8472 versus the euro, from last week’s close of 0.8494. Next key resistance for the pound is seen around the 0.83 level.


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