ECJ and CPI
Accidental Aussie win
An accountant who received £47k a month to manage a hospital's finances has moved on. Apparently he was only temping until he could find decently-paid work elsewhere in the NHS. It's a bit like the folk who bought Australian dollars yesterday morning; they were only waiting for the afternoon.
The Aussie shared the honours with the Swedish krona. Both currencies, along with the NZ dollar, strengthened during the morning and early afternoon, the Australian dollar up by a cent and a half at one point. The krona was first to turn the corner, once the effect had worn off of a fall in Swedish unemployment from 8.3% to 8.0%, reported shortly after London opened.
The Aussie's decline began a couple of hours later. Its reversal followed an appearance by the European Central Bank president at the European Parliament at which he expressed uncertainty about Greece. The Aussie continued to drift lower overnight. However, as a result of its earlier spurt the Australian dollar still ended up with a third-of-a-cent net gain over sterling on the day.
Deliberate yen loss
The Japanese currency scored the day's biggest loss and starts this morning down by one yen against sterling. Its main problem was the Bank of Japan governor, who backtracked from remarks he made last week.
Last Wednesday Kuroda San told parliament that "the yen is already very weak" and "further declines… are not likely to happen". In a yes-but-no-but moment this morning he claimed there was no way he had intended to talk up the yen. So investors sold it.
The US dollar was only an inch ahead of the yen, even after the BoJ governor had talked it down. Cable is three quarters of cent higher on the day and the euro is up by two thirds of a US cent. The dollar's weakness owed more to sentiment than it did to the disappointing -0.2% monthly fall in US industrial production.
Back to inflation
There will be more structure to the FX market today, at least as far as the European currencies are concerned. Britain releases its latest consumer price index data, ZEW publishes its investor confidence index readings for Germany and Euroland and the European Court of Justice rules on OMTs.
The ECJ has been considering whether it is legal for the ECB to stabilise financial markets by buying government bonds in what it calls Outright Monetary Transactions. The German constitutional court did not like the idea but instead of saying no it passed the buck to the ECJ in February. The best guess is that the ECJ will give OMTs its imprimatur today.
Britain's CPI is predicted to have risen by 0.1% in the year to May after a month of deflation, with core inflation - excluding food and energy - accelerating from 0.8% to 1.0%. It would be a surprise if the number were to be markedly different from that and there should be minimal reaction by sterling.