Will the budget give Sterling a nudge?
This week presents the 2010 budget with our enchanting host, Mr. Alistair Maclean Darling… but could this be his last? Aside from having a renowned brand of toothpaste for a middle name, there are many reasons why the Chancellor of the Exchequer will be losing sleep at the moment, what with the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming election. So what will this all mean for Sterling this week? Some say Darling will sing a ballad sweet enough to rouse the pound into a gentle boogie. It goes a little something like this: Reducing estimates for the UK’s borrowing requirement and upgrading growth estimates on the back of last quarter’s GDP figures (insert predicted estimate for this quarter’s number here). Although there is a fair degree of uncertainty surrounding the budget, pleasant sounds would provide support for Sterling in the short term. However, it won’t change the fact that the nations political contest is a little harder to predict than the anticipated ‘barbecue’ summer which is set to keep the UK warm for all of three days before it returns to standard grey drizzle. Now for the Euro, and Greece, and a squabbling group of EU leaders that simply refuse to make a decision on the issue. Chancellor Angela Merkel says that EU leaders shouldn’t be getting Greece’s hopes up with talk of aid, Trichet is slamming his fist on a desk of fine mahogany demanding stringent terms whilst delightfully mustached Greek PM George Papandreou said he’ll turn to the International Monetary Fund for aid if they won’t help him. So it’s another tough week for the single currency in the world of currency exchange, with a fair amount of data releases providing other possibilities of things that can go wrong for the Euro-Zone. The dollar is looking sharp this week, ruthlessly claiming the spoils of a beleaguered Euro whilst keeping a watchful vulture eye on the Pound. However, it wasn’t all plain sailing for the greenback last week, after the US Federal Reserve held its pledge to keep interest rates low for an extended period, prompting investors to snap up growth-sensitive assets. Forget President Obama and his health plan, this week it’s all about Ben Bernanke who will be appearing on Thursday, live, in person to thrill traders with anticipation as to whether or not he’ll discuss potential interest rate changes. All will be advised to watch this space. Have a great week.