The British pound is falling sharply in the North American session, after a massively strong US nonfarm payment release. GBP/USD is trading at 1.2040, down 0.98% on the day.
US Nonfarm Payrolls smashes higher
It wasn’t so long ago that US nonfarm payrolls was one of the most anticipated events on the economic calendar and often had a significant impact on the movement of the US dollar. That has changed in the new economic landscape of red-hot inflation and central banks raising interest rates practically every month. The markets seem more absorbed with new inflation records and the threat of recession, which may make for more catchy headlines than labor market statistics.
Today, however, NFP demonstrated its ability to be a market-mover. The July gain of 528 thousand crushed the estimate of 250 thousand and follows the June release of 372 thousand. The US dollar has responded with strong gains against the majors, as a strong labour market will enable the Fed to remain hawkish with its rate moves.
BoE delivers with a 50bp hike
The BoE was widely expected to raise rates by 50bp, and the central bank did exactly that. The MPC vote was 8-1 in favour, with one member voting for a 25bp hike. This split shows that Governor Bailey appears to have the MPC members in line, which should bolster Governor Bailey’s credibility. With inflation hitting 9.4% in June and no sign of a peak, the BoE has been accused of raising a white flag with regard to inflation. The 50bp increase, the biggest in 30 years, is an important step in fighting inflation, which has hit 9.4% and shows no signs of peaking. Even with this hike, the Bank Rate is at 1.75%, well behind the Federal Reserve, the central banks of Canada and New Zealand and others.
The BoE’s rate increase was accompanied by a stark warning of a prolonged recession, and the pound responded with losses. The pound managed to recover these losses but it is clear that the currency isn’t getting any support from the BoE’s rate moves, with such a huge gap between inflation levels and current rates.
Investors were also less than impressed as the BoE said that it might ease up on raising rates in the coming months. Governor Bailey has said he would be forceful in combating inflation, but the message that the central bank doesn’t plan to be forceful with its forward guidance is weighing on the pound.
- GBP/USD is testing resistance at 1.2128. Next, there is resistance at 1.2295
- There is support at 1.2010 and 1.1876
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