GBP/USD has inched lower in the Monday session. Currently GBP/USD is trading at 1.2270. On the release front, there are no major events ont the schedule. BOE Deputy Governor Charlotte Hogg will speak at an event in Lincoln and we’ll get a look at BRC Retail Sales. The US will release Factory Orders, with the indicator expected to dip to 1.1%
Will the Fed press the rate trigger next week? Market sentiment continues to heat up regarding a rate move in March, buoyed by strong economic data. Federal Reserve policymakers continue to sound hawkish about a rate move, as the Fed holds its policy meeting on March 15. FOMC members William Dudley and John Williams recently hinted at an imminent hike by the Fed. Dudley said the case for a hike is compelling, while Williams noted that a rate increase will be up for "serious consideration" at the March policy meeting. The markets are taking these statements at face value, sending the odds of a March move soaring upwards. The likelihood of a rate this month has jumped to 80%, compared to 33% just a week ago. Why the huge jump in odds? One reason is that policymakers are now saying they won’t wait for Donald Trump to outline tax reform or other economic packages before making a monetary move. This is a significant departure from a few weeks ago, when the Fed sent out signals that it would stay on the sidelines until it had a clearer picture of the economic stance of the new administration.
The pound’s troubles continue, as the currency trades below the 1.23 line. On Friday, GBP/USD dropped to a low of 1.2214, marking its lowest level since January 17. The pound responded negatively to key PMI reports. Manufacturing and Services PMIs both missed expectations in February. The softer Services PMI indicates more cautious spending by British consumers, who remain concerned about the ramifications of Brexit on the economy and their pocketbooks.