Super Thursday

Extremely interesting
French police believe migrants in Calais are now being co-ordinated by anarchists. It sounds like a recipe for organised chaos. There could be some of that around at lunchtime today when the Bank of England delivers its first triple-whammy of news and forecasts.

Until now the Old Lady doled out its titbits of information in biteable chunks. The Monetary Policy Committee's interest rate decision came out on the first Thursday of the month, the minutes of that meeting were published a fortnight later and the Quarterly Inflation Report, complete with economic forecasts and a gubernatorial press conference came out - wait for it - every quarter. 

Henceforth the MPC minutes will appear simultaneously with the rate announcement and will be accompanied by the Inflation Report once every three months. The governor's aim (for it is his idea) is to bring an end to the speculative interpretation and guesswork by delivering all the information in one lump. The downside, if it is a downside, is that the new policy will make life very interesting for sterling once a month and extremely interesting once a quarter.

Upbeat sterling
Sterling was the top performer on Wednesday despite disappointment from the UK services sector purchasing managers' index. It seemed that investors were readying themselves for today's MPC minutes to show a couple of votes in favour of an immediate rate increase.

The pound dipped after the UK services PMI came in at 57.4, a point lower on the month and half a point short of forecast. It was still a strong number though and only a brief interruption to the pound's steady upward progress during the morning. Sterling fell back after lunch when the US services PMI hit an eight-year high of 60.3 but it suffered less than the yen and the Swiss franc.

Other data showed Euroland retail sales falling by more than forecast, America's trade deficit widening slightly and Canada's narrowing. The ADP employment bureau counted 185k extra US jobs in July, fewer than the 215k expected. An uptick in Australian unemployment from 6.1% to 6.3% was offset by 38.5k more people in work.

Seatbelts on
Apart from US weekly jobless claims, just about every item on today's agenda relates to the UK economy. It could be an entertaining day for sterling or a disheartening day: there is little chance of it being a boring one.

There are data this morning for UK manufacturing and industrial production. Poor production figures a month ago hurt the pound. The expectation is that today's will be better. This afternoon the NIESR publishes its estimate of UK growth in the three months to July. Anything better than 0.7% would do.

The day's highlights are, of course, the MPC minutes at noon and Mark Carney's press conference 45 minutes later. Analysts' best guess is that two members of the committee will have voted for a rate increase: a lower number would hurt sterling. As for the governor, anything could happen.