After the absence of a major driver or catalyst in the markets, today is loaded with market-worthy data and thus, traders are bracing for higher volatility in most major currency pairs. Top event risk will be the Bank of England rate decision with the BoE’s Quarterly Inflation Report. While the BoE is unlikely to raise interest rates at this meeting, it is the inflation report and the press conference with BoE Governor Carney that garner most attention.
The Bank of England will announce its rate decision alongside the release of the central bank’s inflation report at 11:00 UTC. The press conference will follow 30 minutes later.
Following the complete U-turn in rate hike expectations out of the BoE, the central bank has little choice but to signal a rate hike in August to maintain the bank’s credibility. The risk is therefore tilted to the upside with a potential short squeeze scenario in the GBP/USD. If the BoE, however, disappoint in terms of rate hike speculation deviating from their hawkish bias, the pound will further fall.
Another, no less important, report will be the April Consumer Inflation Report (CPI) from the U.S., which is due shortly after the BoE’s decision at 12:30 UTC. The Federal Reserve debate over a fourth rate hike in 2018 is still ongoing, which is why inflation figures could affect current rate hike speculation. Thus, a surprise in CPI data could have a major impact on the dollar, paving the way for some profit-taking or maybe an extension of the dollar rally.
Let’s take a look at the technical picture:
The cable traded consolidated between roughly 1.36 and 1.35. The short-term bias is slightly bullish, with the focus now being on an uptrend channel between 1.3615 and 1.3515. A break above 1.3810 could open the door for accelerated bullish momentum towards 1.40. On the bottom side, the 1.35-support remains a crucial price barrier. If the pound drops below 1.3480 we may see a drift towards 1.3330.
EUR/USD: The euro still trades around the falling trendline of its recent downtrend channel. As mentioned in yesterday’s analysis, the 1.19-barrier could prove an important hurdle for euro bulls now. A break above 1.1910 may encourage bulls for a test of 1.1950. Today’s price action will, however, hinge on the appetite for USD, which is why we focus on U.S. CPI data.
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