The British pound is trading quietly on Monday. In the European session, GBP/USD is trading at 122.49, up 0.15%. The pound has looked sharp of late, and last week it touched a high of 1.2343, its highest level since late January.
In the UK, there are no tier-1 releases this week, but that doesn’t mean it will be a quiet week for the pound. Investors will be listening closely as BoE Governor Bailey speaks at public engagements today and on Tuesday. The latter should be especially interesting, as Bailey will testify before the Treasury Select Committee about the Silicon Valley collapse.
Bailey to testify on SVB collapse
Bailey has sounded surprisingly optimistic, given that inflation remains in double digits despite the BoE raising rates 11 consecutive times. After the 25-bp rate hike earlier this month, Bailey said that he expected inflation to fall “quite rapidly” in the next few months. On Friday, Bailey said that the prospects for growth were better and there was a “pretty strong likelihood” that the country would avoid a recession this year. I’m not at all sure that lawmakers share the Governor’s optimism, and they will likely grill Bailey on the Bank’s rate policy, which has failed to reign in high inflation.
Sticky inflation is not the only headache that Bailey needs to deal with. The banking crisis has caused stress in the financial markets, and investors remain concerned about the stability of the banking sector. Authorities in Switzerland and the US have acted quickly and decisively, which has helped calm down the markets. President Biden and Treasury Secretary Yellen have said that the banking system is safe, and on Friday, the Financial Stability Oversight Council, a group of financial regulators, said that the US banking system remains “sound and resilient”.
The stresses on the banking system are being closely watched by central banks, which are fearful of the contagion spreading as well as a credit crunch, which could slow economic growth. ECB President Lagarde said last week that the bank crisis could help lower inflation, and UK lawmakers might ask Bailey if the crisis could dampen inflation in the UK.
- GBP/USD is testing resistance at 1.2248. The next resistance line is 1.2341
- There is support at 1.2152 and 1.2071
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