Sterling hits 15 month high vs US Dollar

Sterling hit a 15-month high against the dollar today before retreating a notch as investors wound back some of last week’s bets on a Bank of England rate rise ahead of a speech by the central bank’s governor Mark Carney.

The pound rocketed past $1.36 to its strongest since the Brexit vote on Friday after BoE policymaker Vlieghe echoed the central bank’s message of the previous day that it could raise rates in “coming months”.

A more hawkish tilt among the BoE’s rate-setters has prompted analysts to revise their forecasts for the pound.

HSBC on Monday upped its year-end sterling forecast to $1.35 from $1.20 previously. It also said it expected two 25-basis-point rate increases by the end of 2018, compared with a previous forecast of none.

Any BoE-fuelled sterling rally may be on its last legs; what we have defined as a ‘withdrawal of stimulus’ hiking cycle is now priced into the currency.

Anything more would be an overshoot in our view and we therefore expect Governor Carney’s speech at the IMF (International Monetary Fund) today to acutely manage market expectations.

Carney will speak at 1500 GMT.

Brexit is also on investors’ radar ahead a speech in Florence on Friday by British prime minister Theresa May. She is likely to address Brexit negotiations that have been postponed to the week of Sept. 25.

We’re still in the middle of Brexit negotiations, we’ve got the Conservative party conference coming up and we’re in a time of political uncertainty.

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