ECB to Keep Policy on Hold

The ECB will keep rates on hold but any updated guidance will be key in driving QE and euro expectations.

Previous Day's Market Highlights

Exchange rates were little changed yesterday amidst a quiet data day. Sterling-eurocontinued to hold above 1.14 while sterling-dollar traded in the 1.39-1.40 band. Euro-dollar inched lower to break back below 1.22 overnight. Sterling-kiwi continued to trade at its highest levels since December as the stronger US dollar and a cautious central bank kept the pressure on the kiwi dollar.

Currency Pairing 08:00 Today Vs 08:00 Yesterday Four-Week High Four-Week Low % Change
GBP/EUR 1.1447 1.1600 1.1363 2.04%
GBP/USD 1.3941 1.4376 1.3918 3.19%
EUR/USD 1.2178 1.2414 1.2159 2.05%
GBP/AUD 1.8407 1.8478 1.8172 1.66%
GBP/NZD 1.9737 1.9755 1.9171 2.96%
GBP/CAD 1.7892 1.8219 1.7751 2.57%

Today's Market Highlights

Sterling traders will keep an eye on any Brexit headlines amidst a quiet UK data day ahead of tomorrow’s Q1 GDP release. An expected slowdown in Durable Goods Orders this afternoon (13:30 BST) could weigh on the dollar, but market attention will primarily be on the European Central Bank.
 
The ECB is expected to keep policy on hold when it announces its latest interest rate decisions this afternoon (12:45 BST). Given recent softer Eurozone data, including still-subdued inflation, the ECB may remain relatively cautious, which may in turn keep the euro in familiar ranges.
 
However, investors will closely parse ECB President Draghi’s comments during the press conference (from 13:30) for any additional nuance into expectations for QE after September. Signals that the ECB is happy to look through recent data misses and expectations inflation to rise could encourage speculation that the ECB will wind down its QE programme later in the year and therefore strengthen the euro. However, any signals that the ECB is becoming more cautious could instead weigh.

Today's Economic Calendar

Time Currency Release Consensus Previous
12:45 EUR ECB Interest Rate Decision 0.0% 0.0%
12:45 EUR ECB Deposit Rate Decision -0.4% -0.4%
13:30 EUR ECB Press Conference
13:30 USD Durable Goods Orders (Mar) 1.6% 3.1%
13:30 USD Core Durable Goods Orders (Mar) 0.5% 1.2%
13:30 USD Initial Jobless Claims (20 Apr) 230K 232K
23:45 NZD Trade Balance YoY (Mar) $-2.90B $-3.02B
00:01 GBP Gfk Consumer Confidence (Apr) -7 -7

Caxton