More central banker action

What I meant was…

Belgium has a longstanding problem with globalisation, not least because the world has tended to use it as a short-cut to the battle front. Now the good people of Wallonia are fighting back by blocking an EU-Canada trade treaty. It was not the only bit of unwanted excitement for the Loonie on Monday.

To say the Canadian dollar is unchanged on the day against the euro, the pound and the US dollar would be a) completely accurate and b) misleading. As London investors were making their cocoa and brushing their teeth last night the Loonie moved a cent and a quarter higher before giving back most of that gain in a couple of minutes.

The initial upward pressure resulted from comments made by the Bank of Canada governor. Stephen Poloz told parliament's finance committee that "our best plan right now, we think, is to wait for the next 18 months or so". Investors thought this meant he was ruling out any chance of a rate cut, so they bought the Loonie. An hour or so later the governor pointed out that he was talking about the output gap, not monetary policy, so a chunk of the speculative buying was reversed.

Hawks circling

Other than for the Japanese yen, which continued its retreat to become Monday's weakest performer with a -0.6% loss to sterling, the average net change among the major currencies was less than ±0.1%. In other words, nothing. Even hawkish comments from the Fed made no difference.

Give or take a dozen ticks here and there sterling was unchanged against the US, Canadian and Australian dollars as well as the euro, the Swiss franc, the South African rand and the Scandinavian crowns. The Kiwi was down by a little more than that despite New Zealand taking the day off for Labour Day. Provisional purchasing managers' index readings were mostly better than forecast, the exception being a slightly disappointing figure for the French services sector. 

The presidents of the New York, St Louis and Chicago Federal Reserves all spoke of higher interest rates. They reinforced expectations of a December increase rather than changing the outlook.

Mark and Mario

The heads of the Bank of England and the European Central Bank will both make appearances this afternoon. They will attract more attention than any of the few ecostats on offer.

Mario Draghi will be speaking in Berlin about "Stability, Equity and Monetary Policy", all of which are dear to the hearts of investors. Mark Carney will be answering questions from the Lords Economic Affairs Committee. They could well touch on the sensitive topics of Brexit and interest rates. Neither man is likely to make any firm policy commitment but that won't prevent investors hanging on their every word.

The short list of data releases includes French business confidence, Swedish producer prices, Italian industrial orders, German business confidence and US consumer confidence and house prices. Australia's inflation figures come out tonight.