Sterling continues to gain

June 3, 2009

We continue on the bull-run for sterling as PMI data emphasises a rise to 51.7 in May from 48.7 in April, over the 50 level identifies that the sentiment is positive for the UK activity. Sterling rallied on the news this morning and tested new yearly highs against the US dollar and the euro. The improvement in PMI levels was mirrored in the eurozone as composite PMI, a gauge of private sector activity rose to 44.0 from 41.1 in April.

This data lends further weight to shouts of a recovery to commence by the end of this year for the UK and an indication that the worst is behind the eurozone. More positives came in the form of UK consumer confidence data released by the Nationwide Building society which strengthened in May as more optimism is foreseen in the next 6 months in the economy and the jobs market.

Tomorrow we will get the announcements from the Bank Of England and ECB on interest rates. It is not anticipated that we will see any movement from the UK on interest rates and it is unlikely that we will see additional measures for QE – although that was the thought process last month too!

For the ECB Trichet said ‘We expect to engage in a programme of around 60 billion euros that targets an important segment of the private securities market which has been particularly affected by financial market turbulence’. This in theory should weaken the euro and help sterling gain further, however given that lots of good news has already permeated sterling we could be in line for some profit taking….watch this space!

Later we have testimony from Ben Bernanke on current economic conditions and the federal budget. It will be interesting to see if attention is turned to the recent fall in the US dollar and the long term factors that are driving this weakness- in particular the fiscal health and 10 year budget projections amid ever increasing debt levels.

Report by Phil McHugh, Corporate Foreign Exchange

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Posted in Currencies Direct Tagged: Bank Of England interest rates, bull-run for sterling, ECB interest rates, testimony from Ben Bernanke