Yesterday’s press conference with European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi continues to weigh on EUR GBP and EUR USD exchange rates.
- EUR exchanges rates weakened by Draghi – Confusion over QE extension or taper
- GBP ignores swelling government deficit – Chancellor just -£10 billion off yearly target
- USD rises on Fed hike bets – Odds of tighter policy in December at 74%
- EUR GBP, EUR USD forecast – Will Eurozone confidence rise enough to boost Euro?
The Pound seems unsettled by poor government borrowing figures, while strong hopes of tighter US monetary policy by the end of the year are boosting the US Dollar.
Markets Continue to Sell Euro (EUR) on Quantitative Easing Expansion Prospects
16.55, 21/10/2016; The Euro has weakened further against both the Pound and the US Dollar today, with investors still perturbed by hints from Mario Draghi’s ECB press conference that further stimulus could be on the way in December. Hopes of a taper to quantitative easing seem to have been largely forgotten.
Euro Exchange Rates Edge Lower after Markets Interpret Draghi Comments as Hints of QE Extension
As expected, yesterday’s European Central Bank (ECB) policy meeting saw no changes from the Governing Council. The only whisper of quantitative easing tapering – a topic that had caused some excitement in the markets – was a comment from President Mario Draghi noting that a sudden end to the programme was unlikely, although he claimed that the notion had not been discussed.
While that may suggest the ECB will taper quantitative easing at some point, other comments indicated the asset purchasing rate could be extended at the next meeting. Markets seem to believe this is more likely, hence the weakness in Euro exchange rates, although Paul Donovan of UBS Wealth Management is more hawkish, claiming;
‘The first rule of Fight Club is you don’t talk about tapering. The second rule of Fight Club is you DO NOT talk about tapering. The ECB did not talk about tapering. The ECB did not talk about talking about tapering. The ECB will probably taper its quantitative policy.’
The EUR GBP exchange rate is down around -0.1%, while the EUR USD exchange rate has slumped in excess of -0.3%.
Pound Exchange Rates Mixed; GBP EUR, USD Unaffected by UK Borrowing Deficits
Pound exchange rates have continued to largely ignore domestic data today, remaining unchanged in positive territory versus the Euro and below opening levels against the US Dollar. The latest government spending figures have created a headache for Chancellor Philip Hammond after revealing the deficit edged higher in September to -£10.6 billion, rather than narrowing to -£8.5 billion.
The latest borrowing figures show that the UK budget shortfall is -5% smaller than this time last year. However the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) had forecast total borrowing for this year would be -£55 billion; only -£10 billion more than the current level with six months of the financial year still to go. The cash requirement for the public sector also swelled to £13.3 billion, while the central government cash requirement more than quadrupled on the previous month to £22.5 billion.
According to IHS Markit Chief European and UK Economist, Howard Archer;
‘The UK’s vote to leave the European Union clearly put the fiscal target for 2016/17 out of reach and the longer-term targets are now clearly off the table as the Theresa May government has acknowledged by abandoning the target of a budget surplus by 2019/20.’
Rising Bets of December Fed Rate Hike Boost US Dollar Euro, US Dollar Pound
Yesterday’s disappointing jobless claims figures didn’t unsettle the markets for long, it seems. USD EUR is up 0.4% today, while USD GBP is making gains in the region of 0.2%, thanks to strengthening Federal Reserve rate hike bets. The futures market is currently pricing in odds of 68% that the upper bound will be increased to 0.75% in December, with odds of 5.9% that the target rate will be between 0.75%-1.00%.
Yesterday’s out of work claims figures had disappointed, with the number of initial claims rising from an upwardly-revised 247k to an above-forecast 260k last week. Continuing claims clocked in above forecast at 2057k instead of 2053k. However, because these numbers are on a weekly basis, markets are not too perturbed by the results. Monthly indicators, such as the non-farm payrolls, give a better big-picture view of the health of the job market. The potential for greater volatility in the weekly measures has enabled markets to take the data with a pinch of salt.
EUR GBP, EUR USD Exchange Rate Forecasts; Consumer Confidence Unlikely to Help Euro Recover
It is a quiet end to the week in terms of data today. The only Eurozone release left on the calendar is the Eurozone consumer confidence, which is forecast to tick marginally higher to -8 from -8.2. Such a small increase, while still positive, may not be enough to help market sentiment recover.
The UK’s data has all been released today; it remains to be seen whether the Pound will actually react to it.
There is nothing of relevance on the calendar from the US, which could leave US Dollar exchange rates trending higher on the improved Fed bets.
EUR GBP, EUR USD Interbank Exchange Rates
The Euro Pound (EUR GBP) exchange rate is currently trading around 0.89, while the Pound Euro (GBP EUR) exchange rate is trending in the region of 1.12.
The Euro US Dollar (EUR USD) exchange rate is currently trading around 1.09, while the US Dollar Euro (USD EUR) exchange rate is currently trending in the region of 0.91.
The Pound US Dollar (GBP USD) exchange rate is currently trading around 1.22, while the US Dollar Pound (USD GBP) exchange rate is currently trending in the region of 0.81.