BOE Surprises by Doing Nothing, but Tips August Action

The Bank of England surprised many, if not most, participants by not changing policy.  There was no rate cut and no asset purchase plan. 

However, there can be little doubt that the BOE will take action next month.  The minutes indicate that officials are considering a package of measures that will be aimed at supporting growth.   This could includes new asset purchases.  Among the assets under reportedly under consideration are corporate bonds.  The funding-for-lending program may be extended, which provides banks very cheap credit (though not negative, which is possible under the ECB’s TLTRO scheme).  

Sterling exploded immediately jumped up to $1.3475, which is the highest level since June 30.

As sterling rallied in the knee-jerk disappointment with no action today, the implied yield on the September short-sterling futures contract rose six basis points to their highest level this month.  However, after the flurry exhausted itself, the realization that policy will be eased in a few weeks saw sterling part its initial gains, both against the dollar and euro.    

A break of $1.3330 could see losses extend back to $1.3200.  The euro fell to GBP0.8250 from just below GBP0.8400, but quickly rebounded toward GBP0.8350.   A move back toward GBP0.8400  would not be surprising as net-net very little has changed.  


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