Sterling Stands Tall a Head of BOE’s Super Thursday

Sterling Stands Tall a Head of BOE’s Super Thursday


On Thursday, the Greenback recovered vs.  a basket of major currencies, inching away from a 15-month low, but was still trading volatile amid worries about whether there will be another U.S. interest rate hike before the year-end. Among significant news, a report by private payrolls processor ADP showed on Wednesday that U.S. private employers added 178k jobs in July, slightly below market’s expectations, although payroll gains in June were adjusted to reach 191k from an originally reported 158k.

Traders are now awaiting what can be said the most important U.S. economic report of the month that comes out Friday morning.

On the economic calendar for Thursday, the U.S. dollar is awaiting ISM Services/Non-Manufacturing Composite for July, which measures the activity level of purchasing managers in the services sector, with a reading above 50 indicating expansion. Anyway, traders are expecting a reading of 56.9, which comes in lower than last month's figure of 57.4.

  • The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength vs. a trade-weighted basket of major currencies, settled at 92.77 after falling to 92.45 yesterday, its lowest since May 2016.


The Single currency settled vs. the U.S. dollar, with EUR/USD at 1.1851, backing away from a 2-1/2 year high of $1.19105 set on Wednesday, the highest level since January 2015. Yesterday, the Spanish unemployment change report highlighted a smaller than expected drop versus what was expected.  Today, we have the Final Services PMI along with the retail sales figures due on tap later.


The British pound rose vs. the Greenback and was traded near its highest level in almost a year ahead of the Bank of England's "Super Thursday." The data recovered to 55.1 Markets are awaiting The Bank of England’s interest rate decision and Quarterly Inflation Report, due later today. Three of the BOE members had voted to hike the rate in the previous meeting, consequently resulting in the markets eager to find out if the hawkish bias will be sustained. GBPUSD traded at $1.3221, near Wednesday's 11-month high of $1.3250.


The yen traded laterally as it reacted to market sentiment and currency related factors. No reports came out of Japan yesterday and none are expected today. Therefore market sentiment and the yield of global bonds will continue to determine the direction of yen pairs. 


Gold prices pared its gains and drifted further away from seven-week highs touched earlier this week, as the Greenback recovered amid expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve could cut its bond holdings in September. In and amid profit taking from recent gains.

Spot gold rose slightly by 0.1%, to settle at $1,269.91 an ounce, after touching $1,273.97, the highest since 14th June, on Tuesday. While U.S. gold futures fell as much as 0.2% to settle at $1,276.50 an ounce.


Oil pulled back some on Thursday, after U.S. government data showed a smaller than expected decline in crude stockpiles last week than the market had expected, however renewed signs of a gradual tightening U.S. market. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a 1.5 million barrel drop in U.S. crude oil inventories in the week to 28th July, below market’s expectations. Meanwhile, representatives of some OPEC and non-OPEC members will meet in Dubai on August 7-8, to review members’ commitments to the production caps. Brent crude futures fell as much as 0.4% or 20 cents to settle at $52.16 per barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures declined to $49.40 per barrel, down 0.4%.

The most important economic events:

  • GBP Bank of England Rate Decision (AUG 03): (GMT 11:00) – Important – Forecast (0.25%) – Previous (0.25%).
  • GBP BOE Asset Purchase Target (AUG): (GMT 11:00) – Important – Forecast (435b) – Previous (435b).
  • GBP Bank of England Inflation Report: (GMT 11:00) – Important
  • USD ISM Services/Non-Manufacturing Composite (JUL): (GMT 14:00) – Important – Forecast (56.9) – Previous (57.4).

The prices and news mentioned in this outlook are absolutely no guarantee of future market performance and do not represent the view of ICM Capital Limited. Financial markets can move in either direction causing profits to be made or complete losses to be incurred by the trader. Each trader must decide for themselves what their risk appetite is and ensure that correct risk management procedures are in place before placing any trades.

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