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Market Update

The Bank of England left policy unchanged last week, but the pound jumped to $1.33 after Chief Economist Andy Haldane voted for an immediate rate rise.

Markets attach about 70% probability to a UK policy rate hike in August, compared with 50:50 chance previously.

The big surprise last week wasn’t that the government won a crucial vote on the Brexit bill, although that did appear to be ‘touch and go’ at one stage. It was that the

Bank of England’s Chief Economist Andy Haldane, one of the nine rate-setters on the policy committee, broke ranks with the Governor and voted for an immediate rate increase. He joined the two existing ‘hawks’, Ian McCafferty and Michael Saunders. Hence, while a majority of 6 to 3 still favoured no policy change, the Bank signalled that UK policy interest rates could rise sooner rather later, potentially as early as the next meeting in August.

The main UK data this week that could have an impact on Sterling are below:

UK CBI retail survey (Tue), BoE Governor Carney presents Financial Stability Report (Wed), UK GfK consumer confidence (Fri), UK index of services (Fri), UK Q1 GDP (Fri)

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