TALKING POINTS – BRITISH POUND, CPI, EURO, PMI, US DOLLAR, FOMC
- UK CPI downtick may cool BOE policy outlook, hurt British Pound
- Euro may decline as soft PMI data compounds Italy-linked pressure
- Hawkish tone in FOMC minutes may put US Dollar on the offensive
UK CPI data tops the economic calendar in European trading hours. The headline inflation rate is expected to hold steady at 2.5 percent but the core reading excluding volatile items like energy prices is forecast to tick down to 2.2 percent, the lowest in 13 months. Leading activity surveys bolster the case for disinflation, with a downside surprise likely to push back BOE rate hike bets and hurt the British Pound.
The preliminary set of April’s Eurozone PMI readings is also due. Steady overall results are expected despite a slight slowdown in manufacturing. Persistent underperformance in regional data relative to forecasts since late November 2017hints that analysts’ models imply a rosier worldview than reality has ratified. That opens the door for another disappointment that may dim near-term QE unwind prospects, punishing the Euro.
Later in the day, minutes from May’s FOMC meeting enter the spotlight. The policy statement published after the sit-down appeared to reaffirm the three-hike baseline outlook for 2018 but an upgrade of guidance on inflation appeared to hint at greater scope for tightening thereafter. Language reinforcing that interpretation in the Minutes document is likely to put the US Dollar back on the offensive.
In fact, the greenback already started to recover in Asia Pacific trade in what looked like