There’s been further steady gains seen in the pound this morning, with the market moving up to its highest level of the week and breaking above the psychological $1.30 level. Reports that the Labour party are set to back an amendment designed to eliminate the prospect of a no-deal Brexit has provided more good news for sterling bulls, and the market is back trading at its highest level since November. The FTSE is trading pretty much flat after some sizable selling during Tuesday’s session with the US benchmarks experiencing their biggest drop in several weeks, before recovering somewhat into the closing bell on Wall Street.
The GBP/USD rate is back at its highest level since November as the market continues to make tentative steps higher since PM May’s Brexit deal was rejected last week. Source: xStation
Metro Bank shares plunge on profit warning
There’s been a sharp drop in the stock of Metro Bank this morning after the high street lender delivered a worrying profit warning. While the firm now project underlying profit before tax for 2018 to be around £50m, which represents an impressive 138% increase on the previous year, this is still some way below analyst forecasts of around £59m. The shares trade on the FTSE mid-cap index, and have fallen by more than a quarter today with the bank blaming the worse than expected performance on a “soft” end to the year. The shares have been in decline since peaking last March above the 4000 mark, and today’s plunge has seen the stock fall to its lowest ever level around the 1500 handle.
BOJ deliver no surprises in first major central bank decision of 2019
The Bank of Japan (BOJ) provided no major shocks in announcing that their monetary policy remains unchanged following the first major central bank decision of the year. This means that the bank kept the short-term interest rate target at -0.1% and the targets for the JGB yield around 0%. There were two dissenters to the decision concerning the yield curve control mechanism, Harada and Kataoka, but the majority are still behind it. Perhaps the biggest news came from the inflation forecasts, which the BOJ revised lower and caused some weakness in the Japanese Yen which is trading lower on the day against all its major peers. For the fiscal year 2019/20 the bank now see CPI at 0.9%, down form 1.4% in October. Attention now turns to tomorrow’s ECB rate decision, where the focus will be on how the bank views the latest developments in the global economy and financial markets which have seemingly caused a pretty dramatic shift in the Fed’s policy stance.