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7th February - Weekly FX Update

Top Currency Pairs Monday 7th February 9:00 UTC GBP/USD: 1.35375 (Last Week: 1.34364) EUR/USD: 1.14324 (Last Week: 1.11720) GBP/EUR: 1.18413 (Last Week: 1.20269)

Market News

Pound Sterling On Thursday, the Bank of England raised its benchmark interest rate by 0.25bps to 0.5%, making it the first back-to-back increase since 2004. The Monetary Policy Committee voted by a majority of 5-4 to hike the rates, with the four dissenting members calling for a steeper rise to 0.75%. This came as the BoE concurrently upped their inflation forecast to 7.25%. The Pound briefly spiked against both the Euro and Dollar, respectively reaching 1.20631 and 1.36217. What we then saw was similar to a 'Buy the Rumour, Sell the News' situation, where a BoE interest rate hike had been so heavily priced in, once the announcement had been made, traders sell up at the peak. This caused the Pound to quickly lose any gains and more that it had made in the build up to the announcement, which was emphasized by a less dovish European Central Bank. Looking ahead, there are ongoing calls for the resignation of PM, Boris Johnson, as multiple MP's submit letters of no confidence. Once 54 letters are sent, a vote of no confidence would be triggered, which would certainly push the Pound into a period of volatility.

Euro The European Central Bank refused to change their immediate stance on interest rates last week as expected by markets, with the ECB determined not to rush into a decision. However, pressure is certainly mounting for a rate increase at some point this year as inflation continues to spiral out of control. Christine Lagarde stated that "the situation has indeed changed" and there was "unanimous concern", giving traders some hope that we may potentially see a 2022 rate hike after all. This helped the Euro regain some much-needed footing in the currency markets, and now traders will be looking more optimistically at the March meeting, as Lagarde mentioned more clarity would be given there.

U.S. Dollar Last week, the Dollar's losses were briefly subdued after data revealed that the US economy created more jobs than expected in January, which could increase the chances of a larger initial interest rate hike at the next policy meeting. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits also fell, and was a seasonally adjusted 7,000 lower than economists had forecasted. Looking ahead to this week, inflation is in focus for the Dollar. It is predicted that the CPI data will read 7.3% year-on-year, which would be a new 40-year high and really turn up the heat on the Federal Reserve.

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