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Forex News: Pound Higher After BoE Saunders Remarks

Pound Higher After BoE Saunders Remarks

01/17/2018 - 08:39:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The pound was higher against its major counterparts in the European session on Wednesday, after the Bank of England policy maker Michael Saunders said that the U.K. labour market would possibly tighten further this year, lifting pay growth and triggering modest hike in interest rates "over time."

The tightening labor market and rising recruitment difficulties is set to lift pay growth this year a bit above the recent subdued trends, Saunders said.

If the economy turns out broadly in line with the outlook, it is likely that interest rates will need to rise further over time, he said. Nonetheless, any further rate hike will be limited and gradual.

A modest further increase in rates would still imply a shift towards neutral, rather than an outright move to a restrictive policy stance, he noted.

But the path of monetary policy is not preset, he added.

The IPA Bellwether report from IHS Markit showed that the marketing budgets of UK private sector companies expanded at the slowest pace in nearly two years in the fourth quarter of 2017. A net balance of 8.6 percent of companies raised their marketing budget compared to 9.9 percent in the previous quarter. This was the lowest since early 2016.

The pound rose to a 6-day high of 0.8850 against the euro, from a 2-day low of 0.8908 hit at 7:45 pm ET. If the pound rises further, 0.88 is possibly seen as its next resistance level.

The pound bounced off to 1.3807 against the greenback, heading to pierce its early 1-1/2-year high of 1.3836. The pound is seen finding resistance around the 1.42 mark.

The pound edged up to 152.84 against the yen, from an early low of 152.15, and held steady thereafter. The next possible resistance for the pound-yen pair is seen around the 154.5 area.

Data from the Cabinet Office showed that Japan's core machine orders rose a seasonally adjusted 5.7 percent on month in November.

That beat expectations for a decline of 1.2 percent on month following the 5.0 percent jump in October.

The U.K. currency climbed to a 2-day high of 1.3307 against the Swiss franc, from an early low of 1.3224, and held steady thereafter. On the upside, 1.34 is possibly seen as its next resistance level.

Looking ahead, U.S. industrial production for December, NAHB housing market index for January and Fed's Beige book report are set for release in the New York session.

At 10:00 am ET, the Bank of Canada announces decision on interest rates. Economists forecast the benchmark rate to rise to 1.25 percent from 1.00 percent.

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