UK interest rates and GBP analysis:
- The Bank of England’s monetary policy committee is almost certain to increase UK interest rates to 0.75% from 0.50% today.
- However, GBP is looking weak technically and Brexit continues to hold it back.
UK interest rates in focus Thursday
It would be a major surprise if the Bank of England’s rate-setting monetary policy committee fails to increase the benchmark UK Bank Rate to 0.75% from 0.50% today but GBP may well fall anyway. The decision is due at mid-day local time (1100 GMT), alongside the central bank’s quarterly Inflation Report, and will be followed 90 minutes later by Governor Mark Carney’s press conference, which can be watched here.
When the decision on UK interest rates is due
DailyFX Analyst Nick Cawley will be covering the decision live at 1045 GMT. Here’s where to sign up to his webinar.
Probability of a UK rate rise
According to the overnight index swaps market, where the chances of a rate change can be calculated, the probability of a quarter-point increase is currently more than 88%
Source: Thomson Reuters
However, the MPC has a history of failing to deliver, earning Carney the nickname “the unreliable boyfriend”, and Brexit worries combined with political turmoil in the UK could lead to a postponement. Moreover, two MPC members are likely to dissent, preferring to leave rates where they are, and as the table above shows the next rise is not fully priced in until September next year.
That could all add up to renewed downward pressure on GBPUSD.
GBPUSD Price Chart, Daily Timeframe (April 21 – August 1, 2018)
Our trading forecasts for Q3 have been published; you can find the GBP guide here.
Trading the news: Bank of England meeting
As mentioned earlier, Brexit remains a key factor when trading GBP. The currency has fallen as the prospect of the UK leaving the EU without a deal has risen and there are concerns too about how long UK Prime Minister Theresa May will remain as Premier.
Given that Members of Parliament are currently on their Summer break, neither of these problems are likely to be resolved near-term so a respite for GBP seems unlikely even if the Bank of England delivers.
GBPUSD and EURGBP levels to watch out for
From a technical perspective, GBPUSD looks to breaking out to the downside from a symmetrical triangle pattern on the daily chart. If it does so, falls to the 1.30 “round number” are possible, and a break through there would bring the July 19 low at 1.2957 into focus.
Meanwhile, potential upside is limited by the 20-day simple moving average at 1.3149, trendline resistance at 1.3180 and the 50-day moving average at 1.3222.
As for EURGBP, that continues to trade within a rising channel and a long-term climb towards 0.90 is possible, particularly if Carney’s press conference comments are interpreted as dovish and traders decide to “buy the rumor, sell the fact”.
EURGBP Price Chart, Daily Timeframe (April 9 – August 1, 2018)
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— Written by Martin Essex, Analyst and Editor