The euro/British pound (EUR/GBP) currency pair could be on the verge of a breakdown after the European Central Bank’s policy decision on Thursday. While the central bank’s plan to end quantitative easing programme at the end of the year was a hawkish development, investors had already priced in that decision.
With a rate hike in June considered a done deal, investors may be more concerned with the economic projections and press conference with Fed Chair, Jerome Powell. Markets are poised to closely scrutinize the Fed’s monetary policy statement for clues on how fast the Fed may raise interest rates during the second half of this year.
This is the biggest week of the year and the euro started off on solid footing. It is still having difficulty getting through technical resistance but firm comments from Italian Finance Minister that they will not leave the Euro were supportive.
The jam-packed calendars for economic data and political events mean it is going to be a very busy week in the financial markets, perhaps the busiest of the year so far. This implies that the focus will be short-term with the longer-term themes likely to take a back seat. But the busy week has started quite badly for the British pound/U.S. dollar (GBP/USD) after the release of some poor UK economic data earlier today.
Ahead of next week’s major central bank meetings and key data releases, the market’s focus has turned to trade tensions as the G7 meetings get underway in Canada and it looks like U.S. President Donald Trump is taking on the whole world. While leaders of the “G7-1” are showing great unity, Trump continues to isolate himself by demanding “fair” trade agreements especially with Canada and the European Union.
The G7 Summit comes into focus to finish out the week. One week after announcing tariffs on the EU, Canada and Mexico, President Trump will meet with leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the European Union. Tensions are due to run high, which also means the market’s low expectations should not create any surprise currency moves.
Ahead of next week’s major central bank meetings and key data releases, there have been some interesting moves in the markets with the euro/U.S. dollar currency pair in particular showing relative strength. Although the Federal Reserve is almost certain to raise interest rates next week, it is the European Central Bank which all of a sudden is looking to be the more anticipated meeting.
Friday’s “risk-on” rally, triggered in part by those strong US employment figures, followed through on Monday as Asian shares and U.S. index futures rose. Although Europe was also higher at the open, some of the major indices such as the German DAX gave up their earlier gains as investors considered the impact of U.S. import tariffs on metals and how this may impact European companies and their profits.