January 13, 2023

Daily Report 13/01/2023

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Sterling was confined to relatively narrow ranges ahead of Thursday’s US open. The UK currency spiked higher in an immediate response to the inflation data with highs against the US currency before a slump to lows as the dollar attempted to recover. Although there was a quick recovery in very choppy trading, Sterling overall struggled to gain wider support despite the FTSE 100 index posted fresh 4-year highs. There were further concerns over the housing sector with unease over the impact of higher mortgage rates. Bank of England MPC member Mann maintained a hawkish stance with comments that underlying inflation looks pretty robust with the risk of secondary inflation pressures. She expects that rates will need to increase further and there is no risk of over-tightening at present.

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As markets head into a year of uncertainty against a backdrop of shifting economic data and monetary policy, analysts are turning positive on the outlook for the euro. Having fallen below parity with the U.S. dollar in the second half of 2022, the common currency recovered in recent months to trade within a tight range on Thursday morning. Central to the euro’s weakness last year was aggressive monetary policy tightening from the U.S. Federal Reserve while the European Central Bank was much later out of the blocks in hiking interest rates to contain runaway inflation.

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Narrow ranges prevailed ahead of Thursday’s New York open with inevitable caution ahead of the latest US inflation data and a fragile overall dollar tone. US consumer prices declined 0.1% for December compared with expectations of no change while the year-on-year inflation rate declined to 6.5% from 7.1%. This was in line with expectations and the lowest reading since late 2021. Food prices increased 10.4% over the year while energy prices increased 7.3% after a sharp monthly decline of 4.5%. Gasoline prices fell sharply on the month and also posted a slight net decline on the year. Underlying prices increased 0.3% on the month with the year-on-year rate declining to 5.7% from 6.0% which was in line with consensus forecasts. There was another sharp decline in the cost of new vehicles, but there was a strong monthly increase in shelter costs with a 7.5% annual increase.

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