Markets Shrug Off BoE Interest Rate Warnings

Sterling came off its highs and yields on UK debt fell on Thursday in response to the Bank of England and Mark Carney’s unconvincing attempts to warn traders that markets are behind the curve on interest rate hikes over the next few years.

Despite the repeated warnings in the inflation report and from Carney himself, that expectations of two hikes over the next few years are “insufficient”, markets were far more responsive to the more dovish aspects report and press conference. The vote, for example, widened to six against a hike and only two for, which put traders at ease after the gap closed unexpectedly at the last meeting. While the conversation is still going on in the background and the numbers could easily change, it would appear a hike is further away in the near term.

Carney’s acknowledgement that the sole cause of above-target inflation is the drop in sterling was cited as another dovish comment, despite the fact that policy makers are voting for a hike in spite of this. Of course, it could perhaps be that traders are only concerned with the near-term expectations of the BoE given its history of bad forecasts and the sheer amount of uncertainty in the economic outlook due to Brexit.

All things considered, today’s decision, voting, inflation report and press conference has done little to clear things up and markets response to it would suggest just that. The BoE’s attempts to prepare markets for future hikes have fallen on deaf ears for now which could mean volatility in these instruments remains for the foreseeable future as we try to make sense of both the economic and monetary policy environment.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

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Craig Erlam

Craig Erlam

Senior Currency Analyst at OANDA
Based in London, England, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a Market Analyst. With more than five years' experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while conducting macroeconomic commentary. He has been published by The Financial Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Telegraph, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Sky News, Bloomberg, CNBC and BBC. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and he is recognized as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.