The pound has fallen against the dollar, but remained steady against the Euro in early trading. The pound has failed to make any significant gains following yesterdays higher than expected inflation data and the cautious mood around equity markets has extended some support to the safe haven greenback. US retail sales due for release this afternoon will be the next focus of attention for traders. Prime minister Boris Johnson reshuffled his senior minsters on Wednesday, mostly in non-economic positions. Chancellor Rishi Sunak remains in his post, as does Brexit minister David Frost.
ECB President Christine Lagarde is due to deliver a speech later today. Traders will monitor whether she confirms the cautious optimism recently conveyed by other central bank policymakers, the latest being Executive Board Member Isabel Schnabel who said “markets may be overestimating risks to the global growth outlook” . Further upbeat comments came from Germany’s economic Minister Peter Altmaier who said on Wednesday that they do not have any reason to cast doubt on the country’s economic growth forecasts of 3.5% for 2021 and 3.6% for 2022.
This afternoon sees the release of a raft of economic data from the US. Foremost among these will be the retail sales report for August which is expected by economists to reveal another month-on-month drop. If correct, this would be the third decline in four months and be indicative with slowing expectations for GDP growth. Other data due at the same time include weekly jobless claims and the Reserve bank of Philadelphia manufacturing survey.
1.00 pm EUR ECB president Lagarde Speech 1.30 pm US retails sales for August 1.30 pm initial jobless claims 1.30 pm Philly Fed Survey