The British pound is down after the release of minutes from a Bank of England policy meeting in which officials showed little support for an increase in the primary interest rate. Officials voted 8-1 to keep rates the same at this time, a clear indication that most officials were not strongly considering a hike. Today was the first time that BOE meeting minutes had been released together with an current policy outlook from the Bank Of England’s rate-setting panel and a quarterly statement on inflation outlook.
The pound was down to $1.5467, its lowest trading level in two weeks, following the release of the projections, inflation report and meeting minutes. The currency has since recovered marginally, trading at $1.5526 at last check, in comparison with $1.5602 yesterday afternoon in New York. Meeting minutes showed that several policy makers felt that it was too soon to increase interest rates, with the GBP’s strength offsetting growing inflation as the United Kingdom’s labor market continue to tighten.
Expectations for the exact timing of the next rate increased shifted forward after the batch of releases. Some are expecting an increase from the in May of next year, while others are expecting a boost in February. As conditions stand at the moment, an increase at some point in Q1 in not out of the question.
Meanwhile, the USD is trading near its high levels from yesterday’s session, maintaining gains in spite of an increase in weekly jobless numbers. U.S. economic data and statements coming from Federal Reserve officials have not provided clear timing for the next interest rate increase. The ICE U.S. Dollar Index is up 0.1% to 98.0150, positioned near its highest level in over two weeks.
The euro was last trading at $1.0910, down from $1.0903 yesterday evening. The dollar was last trading at ¥124.77 and is essentially flat. Investors are waiting to see how many work opportunities the U.S. economy added in the month of July. That data will be released at 8:30am EST tomorrow.