BoE remains on hold with a 6-3 vote count

BoE kept its interest rate unchanged at +0.50% yesterday, as it was widely expected. The accompanying statement provided comments regarding inflation, the GDP, household spending and the bank’s QE program. In general, the accompanying statement could be characterized as neutral to hawkish. The surprise element of the decision was that one MPC member, namely Andy Haldane, switched sides in favor for a rate hike and the vote count was 6-3, underscoring a hawkish element of the decision. Overall, the decision provided a strong support for the pound as anticipations for an August rate hike increased and we could see the pound riding that wave for a few days.

GBP/USD dropped in anticipation of the BoE’s interest rate decision in the early European session, breaking the 1.3125 support line. However, once the decision was announced and later on, it rose breaking consecutively the 1.3125 and the 1.3215 resistance lines and then stabilizing. The pair could continue to trade in a sideways manner today, however some bullish tendencies could occur. Should the bulls take the reins we could see the pair, breaking the 1.3330 resistance line. Should the bears take over, we could see the pair breaking the 1.3215 support line and aim for the 1.3125 support level. Also the drop could have contributed to the slight weakening of the US 10 year treasury yields adding further pressure to the USD. Should the yields continue to drop we could see USD continuing to slip for the next few days.

Heads up for Bank of England Interest Rate Decision

BoE is expected to announce its decision on the interest rate tomorrow, at 11:00 (GMT). Currently, BoE is expected to remain on hold and keep interest rates at +0.50%. Market is currently pricing in the probability of BoE retaining the current interest rate by 93.61%, according to GBP OIS,. Also, the Monetary Policy Committee Vote count is expected to be of 7 in favor of BoE remaining on hold and 2 for a rate hike.

As mentioned above chances are for the bank to remain on hold and such an argument is strengthened by a recent poll conducted by Reuters which concluded that no economists currently sees the case for a rate hike. Also some economists started to be uncertain on whether the bank is going to have an interest rate hike in August.

Should the interest rate remain unchanged, we could see the market’s attention turning to the accompanying statement.  Currently, we are not sharing the view that the MPC is likely to produce any clear guidance regarding its next rate hike. Arguments for a more upbeat tone could be based on a rather high inflation rate, a solid wages growth rate, low unemployment and strong recent retail sales growth rate. Should on the other hand a more pessimistic view prevail, it could be based on the uncertainty of the Brexit negotiations, as well as other political uncertainties and the low GDP growth rate. Having said that, it could also be the case that the bank may have a more cautious tone as it may try to keep its options open.