Sterling strengthened against the US dollar overnight, as the Bank of England meeting policy minutes were less dovish than some had been expecting.
Heading into the release, cable had come under pressure, as traders believed that there would be further talk of quantitative easing measures. However, the release showed that the vote was in-line with market expectations at 7-2 in favour of keeping interest rates on hold at 0.5%, and possibly more importantly there was no talk about increasing quantitative easing measures. With the market positioned short ahead of the reading, those traders were forced to cover back, spurring a rally to session a high of 1.6165, before finally closing at 1.6148. In more recent news, this morning’s release of the Nationwide consumer confidence index has showed a rather pessimistic outlook for the British economy.
The index fell four points from May to 51, as confidence retreated to more subdued levels following the pickup seen around the time of the royal wedding. Looking ahead, public sector net borrowing and retail sales data are due for release at 6.30pm (Melbourne time) this evening. However, the bigger driver of sentiment will probably be the emergency EU summit, which kicks off tonight and is aimed at finding a long-term solution for the European sovereign debt woes.