U.K. Inflation Returns to BOE Target on Air Fares, Car Prices
Comment of the Day

June 19 2019

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

U.K. Inflation Returns to BOE Target on Air Fares, Car Prices

This article by Jill Ward and Andrew Atkinson for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

The figures come a day before the BOE’s latest policy decision. As many central banks around the world shift into a more dovish mode, U.K. officials have been trying to push in the other direction, repeating a message that interest rates may have to rise more than the market currently anticipates if there’s a smooth Brexit.

Investors haven’t taken much heed given the continuing uncertainty over Britain’s exit from the European Union. Certainly in the short term, the latest inflation figures give policy makers breathing space to wait and keep interest rates on hold.

The BOE expects inflation to fall back below target this year. In May, it forecast that price growth would average 2.1% this quarter, easing to about 1.6% by late 2019.

Eoin Treacy's view

The Bank of England is protective of its independence, especially amid the continued contentious discussion about the merits or otherwise of Brexit. Nevertheless, with central banks all over the world signalling a willingness to cut rates, it seems foolhardy of the Bank of England to continue to signal its willingness to raise rates.

The Pound found near-term support today against the Euro and rallied to break its short-term sequence of lower rally highs. That suggests even the glimmer of a rate hike, however unlikely, is enough to stoke investors to close shorts.

The FTSE-250 continues to pause below 20,000 and will need to continue to hold the January lows near 17,000 if continued scope for additional higher to lateral ranging is to be given the benefit of the doubt.

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