2017: 3 events that shook the trading world

2017 – surprise!

Are natural disasters in the top three?

Mother nature showed her power this year sending Hurricanes Maria, Harvey and Irma across US territory and beyond, a massive earthquake to Mexico, monsoon flooding in Bangladesh. mudslides in Colombia and landslides in Sierra Leone. The human toll has been unfathomable and the markets didn’t like them either, though the US administration seems to think we don’t need to worry. But these weren’t the biggest events to hit the markets in 2017.

Bitcoin shock: a strong contender

December has brought a late contender to event of the year with the Bitcoin surge. Prompted by the cryptocurrency’s ascendency to two major futures exchanges in the U.S., investors flooded to buy Bitcoin though a few days after the launch prices looked like they were subsiding.

Sky-rocketing prices

Bitcoin reached a high of $19,375 on the Coinbase exchange on December 18th as trading launched on the giant CME exchange and its Chicago rival CboE Global Markets. The decision to list the currency legitimised Bitcoin and raised its profile enormously. Since the announcement was made, demand pushed the price through ceiling after ceiling and the media shouted frantic headlines warning potential investors about bubbles. At the time of writing, there has been no crash.

The problem with Bitcoin

The problem with Bitcoin for some is that it is outside the control of the existing authorities. Like the internet under net neutrality is equally accessible by all, Bitcoin is not the currency of one nation or even one region. It has no physical form and none of the established national or international authorities are in control of the supply. They don’t like that.

Bitcoin pros and cons

Bitcoin is limited by design to a maximum of 21 million coins. Supporters see it as a natural global successor to national physical currencies and exchange rates. Features of cryptocurrencies called blockchain will mean they can also securely replace other functions in banking and business so the potential is astronomical. Critics, including Singapore’s financial watchdog, warn that the lack of physical properties mean it is inherently valueless and investors will lose out when they come to withdraw their funds. Some say these critics are running scared.

Should everyone take Bitcoin seriously now?

The short answer is yes. In stark contrast to the doom and gloom of the threatened financial system, Ronnie Moas, the independent analyst who forecast this rise, now says he sees values reaching a meteoric $400,000 in 2018 saying the “mind-blogging supply and demand imbalance is what is going to drive the higher price.” He was right before; will he be right again? Either way, plenty are jumping on the bandwagon.

Brexit: the Brits want out

A review of market-moving events in 2017 has to include the Brexit tidal wave, which continues to punish GBP markets. Brexit is the snappy moniker bestowed by the British press on the British exit from the European Union decided by referendum in June 2016. 2017 has been a battle waged between varying factions in the UK government, who are justifiably concerned that washing their laundry in public puts them at a disadvantage in negotiations over the terms of the exit.

Europe, 20 June 2016
Brexit.
Markus Grolik/Cartoon Movement/Hollandse Hoogte

Who is responsible for Brexit?

In 2016, rampant propaganda, fervent canvassing and decidedly dodgy claims resulted in the United Kingdom agreeing to crash out of the thriving economic and political union that has blossomed since the 1970s. Why would one of the world’s biggest economies decide to commit economic suicide? Good question and it’s one many continue to scratch their heads over. The pound plummeted immediately sending imported product prices rocketing and the beleaguered currency has failed to yet make a full recovery over 18 months later.

What’s next for GBP?

The future for the British currency is unclear. A large part of its economy is funded by revenue from the City of London. However, many international banks are setting up subsidiaries in Frankfurt and other key European cities, all keen to become the new home of passporting. This key facility was located in the UK capital and allowed banks to work across Europe without needing authorisation in each individual country. It is highly unlikely passporting will continue to run from London when it leaves the Union and the banks are likely to cut many jobs and reduce their contribution to the economy in the UK from then on.

Will Brexit be calmer in 2018?

Political news around the exit negotiations are likely to impact both sterling and the Euro. Inside the Union, leaders will be keen to ensure Great Britain isn’t seen to get a good deal in order to deter other nations from making similar exit plans. It will be essential that countries who are in look better off than those who opt out. It’s looking cold outside the E.U and Britain will need to negotiate individual trade agreements with everyone. The deadline is 2019 so 2018 will be a rollercoaster ride through negotiations.

Trump

That word has so many meanings. It can be the winning card in a game. It can mean doing better than your rival. It can mean something altogether more foul-smelling connected to digestion. But this year Trump gained a new meaning as Donald became the 45th POTUS in an election that put the Brexit Leavers campaign to shame.

Sheneman Dec 2017

How did Donald Trump win?

Donald won by wooing the electorate that mattered in a battle against Washington insider, Hillary Clinton. While the rest of the world saw a privileged white man; a man with inherited money that he frittered away on poor business deals who was paying his way to the top spot on the Republican ticket, voters in key States believed the nationalist ‘America First’ propaganda and insular rhetoric pouring from his Twitter feed. Despite winning fewer votes than his rival, Donald won the White House. Look up the electoral college system if you’re keen to see how it’s rigged set up.

What did the markets think of Trump?

Trump revealed a change in attitude from the markets towards geopolitical risk. The shockwaves from the election were relatively minor. Although the rising value of safe haven gold suggests they’re not entirely keen.

Markets and politics

Since Trump was elected, the markets have learned to weather the Twitter spats between Kim and Trump, watched the military posturing across the east Asian region with a bucket of popcorn, ignored the implications of Russian interference in key Western democracies, and will see the year out analysing Trump’s ham-fisted diplomacy in Jerusalem and the U.N. with great interest. Interestingly, at no point have any of the indices tanked suggesting there may be a growing separation between geopolitics and market valuation. Or things haven’t got crazy enough to worry them yet.

2017 was characterised by massive geopolitical upheaval that didn’t always translate into market movement. But the biggest upset for the year was Bitcoin. Will other cryptocurrencies now gain value? Will the bubble burst or is BTC finding its true level? Let’s see in 2018.

 

2018: 5 outrageous predictions

They said what?!

      • Bitcoin will break $60,000.

Sounds incredible but when you look back at 2017 it stops seeming so crazy. Back in January 2017, analysts were amazed when Bitcoin broke $1,000. Not many people understood what it was or what enormous potential blockchain technology and blockchain-based currencies have. It’s only when two major US future exchanges decided to list Bitcoin that it became mainstream and that’s when its value started to skyrocket.

Independent cryptocurrency pundit, Ronnie Moas, forecast the December 2017 spike. When asked what the ultimate value of Bitcoin would be, he reckoned it could reach as much as $400,000 per coin. Sounds astounding, right? Well, the currency has a production limit of 21 million coins coded into its design. Any limited commodity has the potential to become highly prized. Bitcoin may have no physical form, it may not be supported by any national government or regional bloc but it has exclusivity and supposedly unbreakable design features. You can fake a Da Vinci, but you can’t fake a bitcoin.

Many of the same analysts that see the meteoric rise continuing also see a massive bubble bursting with prices reducing back to ‘production cost levels’ of around $1000. With so few understanding what cryptocurrency is, what effect blockchain will have on global industries or how to fit commodities like Bitcoin into the existing trading framework, it really is anybody’s guess.

      • US stock markets will rise by 20%

Rise like a rocket

Or 5% depending on who you’re talking to. It’s the time of year for banks and analysts across the world to lay down their predictions for where markets will go in 2018. When you consider that global equities look set to return 20% or more at the end of 2017, the market tide is rising high and plenty see that good fortune continuing in 2018.

Now that Trump’s tax bill has ploughed through the Senate, corporations are luxuriating in their reduced outgoings. Trump’s bill is slashing rates from 35% to 21% benefitting shareholders and owners. There is a risk that inflation will take off, and the Fed is likely to raise interest rates 3 times in 2018. But these costs will be offset by the tax reduction so corporations have more room to manoeuvre – but only if the bill kicks in during the 18/19 tax year.

Many analysts are saying that 2017 was a great year for the markets with growth not seen for over a decade, but some reckon 2018 will be even better. Brian Belski at BMO Capital Markets believes a 2950 S&P 500 with 11% earnings growth is likely, while Fortune magazine reckons we should all be psyched about where global markets are heading and forecast 13% S&P 500 growth if the tax cuts kick in.

Doom-sayers disagree. Morgan Stanley strategist Michael Wilson uses a different argument. He reckons the S&P 500 will only rise to 2750 in 2018. But he also thinks it’s a good time to sell U.S. corporate bonds, because their valuations have been stretched by persistently low interest rates.

Whoever you agree with, you won’t find many people predicting a crash. But then again, they rarely see that coming.

      • A flash crash of 25%

Boom

Some analysts forecast the S&P 500 dropping by 25% in 2018 due to a flash crash like the one in 1987. They see over-levereged volatile funds, high levels of banking debt and markets that have extended themselves too far. It won’t take much of a push to send the house of cards crashing down.

Possible shoves that could send the markets over the edge could include doubt about the strength of the US economy leading to widespread selling, war and other geopolitical dangers or even risk parity funds. These cheeky chaps are blamed for the mini flash crash of August 2015 and they remain highly unstable.

On the plus side, there is every chance the markets would rebound and the interim action could yield smart Tiql players some serious returns.

      • China pegs oil to the yuan

What better way to annoy Trump and display a global cold-shouldering of the US ‘superpower’ than to separate the value of oil from USD? China is already the world’s biggest oil importer and many producers already sell in yuan as a result. It isn’t really an enormous leap of imagination to see the Shanghai International Energy Exchange declaring a new oil contract in yuan in 2018 and cutting the dollar out of the equation.

The yuan would rise against the dollar, possibly as much as 10%, and the geopolitical ramifications would ricochet widely.

      • Oil will rise by 30%

The Middle East is looking even less stable than usual bolstered by the US’s ham-fisted diplomacy around its decision to relocate its Embassy to Jerusalem and the infamous “taking names” bully tactics of the US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley.

The ongoing crises in Yemen, Lebanon and Palestine and spats between oil producing countries could cause simmering local tensions to erupt and global conflict to become more likely.

For oil, this would disrupt supply and increase demand pushing up prices. Japanese bank Nomura has tested various scenarios and sees $80 a barrel as a realistic possibility in these circumstances.

Festive Tiql Tips: 19th to 22nd December

Merry Christmas from all of us at Tiql

It’s the week before Christmas and many traders around the world are winding down. Remember many countries including the US won’t trade on Monday 25th and a lot of traders will take next week off.

But there is a packed calendar of events to trade before the long weekend so we’d like to help you to earn more with TIQL by giving you this free guide to the markets and dates to watch this week. Economic news and announcements cause financial markets to move a lot, and may provide some opportunities to trade.

Remember, you can earn some extra cash by inviting people to trade with TIQL. The very first time someone you invite makes a deposit of $5 of more, you will receive $1. Whoever you invite also gets $1 USD to trade with; you can’t get better than that! You can keep earning as we pay you a percentage every time your supporters trade with TIQL.
USD: twas the week before Christmas
If you haven’t moved your portfolio to Bitcoin, kick off your week with some USD action with Building Permits (Tuesday 19th 1.30pm GMT). Last month’s increase to 1.32M looks like a blip as forecasts indicate a drop back to 1.28M ending the year up from where it started.

Analysts forecast the quarterly Final GDP (Thursday 21st 1.30pm GMT) at 3.3% up from last quarter’s 3.1%. This is almost as high as December last year when it peaked at 3.5% before dropping sharply back to 1.4% by July.

Core Durable Goods (Friday 22nd 1.30pm GMT) is a great indicator of manufacturing health and is likely to be less than the 0.9% revised figure from last month at 0.5% predicted.

It’s a mixed bag for the US but in the context of a tax cutting bonanza for corporations the economy looks appealing and many pundits see a strong currency.

GDP: 3 events to trade
Gross Domestic Product is a popular snapshot into the economy as it measures the change in the value of all goods and services adjusted by inflation. This week we get to grips with GDP for three major economies – Canada, New Zealand and the United States as traders set up their positions for the holiday season.

Canada’s economy is either rebounding or back to Earth depending on which pundits you prefer. What they mean is it is anybody’s guess at this point. CAD is an interesting currency to trade and the uncertainty could give you plenty of opportunities to cash in. The GDP forecast (Friday 22nd 1.30pm GMT) is for 0.2% to stay the same.

New Zealand seems to have a more positive consensus in analysts circles with views that its economy is on the up. But, in contrast, GDP growth may apparently slow. This month’s GDP news (Wednesday 20th 9.45pm GMT) is forecast to contract to 0.6% from 0.8%.

The U.S. quarterly Final GDP data (Thursday 21st 1.30pm GMT) is looking strong. If it reaches predictions of 3.3% it will almost be back at its December 2016 peak.

Oil: a booming market
Traders have enjoyed the strongest year in oil for some time with prices up almost 15% as we head towards the end of the year despite the raft of bearish news in recent weeks.

OPEC has worked hard to cut production although this hasn’t always been fully supported, even within its own ranks. The result has been generally positive and US Crude Oil Inventories (Wednesday 19th 3.30pm GMT) also show reductions for the majority of the year since mid-February, supporting a rising price. Last week’s -5.1M barrels wasn’t dissimilar from the week before and there’s every indication that prices will remain strong. But every trader will tell you that oil can turn on a dime. The question is whether this is the week that will happen .

Here are the main news events to look out for this week:​

  • Tue Dec 19
    • 00:30:00 UTC 2017 AUD Monetary Policy Meeting Minutes
    • 13:30:00 UTC 2017 USD Building Permits
  • Wed Dec 20
    • 13:15:00 UTC 2017 GBP BOE Gov Carney Speaks
    • 15:30:00 UTC 2017 USD Crude Oil Inventories
    • 21:45:00 UTC 2017 NZD GDP q/q
  • Thu Dec 21
    • 03:50:00 UTC 2017 JPY Monetary Policy Statement
    • 04:00:00 UTC 2017 JPY BOJ Policy Rate
    • 06:30:00 UTC 2017 JPY BOJ Press Conference
    • 13:30:00 UTC 2017 USD Unemployment Claims
    • 13:30:00 UTC 2017 USD Final GDP q/q
    • 13:30:00 UTC 2017 CAD CPI m/m
    • 13:30:00 UTC 2017 CAD Core Retail Sales m/m
  • Fri Dec 22
    • 09:30:00 UTC 2017 GBP Current Account
    • 13:30:00 UTC 2017 USD Core Durable Goods Orders m/m
    • 13:30:00 UTC 2017 CAD GDP m/m

Some Markets to Watch…
Whichever way you think these markets are going to go, you can trade these and other markets from as little as 1 cent with TIQL.

AUDUSD: We saw Australian strength last week as the AUDUSD climbed to test the 200 SMA near a key supply zone and descending trend line. For now the range is defined by 0.77 and 0.75.

BTCUSD: $20,000 is beginning to look vulnerable now before the new year at this rate. Above 17,000, the outlook remains bullish.

Crude: Looking at the weekly chart, crude oil is approaching some significant potential supply near the $64 zone. We have an ABCD pattern playing out and completing in the confluence of two 50% extensions from earlier bullish moves. Drilling down to the daily chart, we can see there is near term resistance at $59 with some recent support (which was resistance) nearby ab $55.

GBPUSD: 1.3250 continues to be the line in the sand for Cable (the term used by traders to refer to GBPUSD). A level which may be of interest to the bulls as a likely target is 1.38, which is the low made in February of last year and the 61.8 Fibonacci retracement from the Brexit move down. For now, the channel is holding at 1.325, which remains a key level.

Gold: This market has begun to move back into the range after the break down below 1260 and out of the channel. Any daily closes above 1260 and this can be considered to be trading in the range. If the sellers come in and manage to get below 1250 on a daily closing bases and we could see a deeper correction to 1205 before the shorts cover.

Markets can really move during news events; all TIQL trades come with guaranteed stops to always protect you from losing more than you have invested in a trade.

Deposit today from $5 with Skrill, Neteller, Paypal or Visa.
Good trading!
TIQL: Serious fun!

Play TIQL or follow us on Facebook or Twitter

TIQL is operated by Nous Global Limited, c/o ILS Fiduciaries (IOM) Ltd, First Floor, Millennium House, Victoria Road, Douglas, IM2 4RW, Isle of Man

Nous Global Limited is proud to be regulated by the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission under a licence issued under the Online Gambling Regulation Act 2001 on 12 April 2016

USD: ’twas the week before Christmas

Because Christmas

If you haven’t actually moved your entire portfolio to Bitcoin because you suspect a bubble in action, kick off your week with some safer USD action as Building Permits is released on Tuesday 19th at 1.30pm GMT. Last month’s increase to 1.32M looks set to be a blip as forecasts indicate a drop back to 1.28M ending the year up from where it started.

Analysts forecast the quarterly Final GDP on Thursday 21st at 1.30pm GMT at 3.3% up from last quarter’s 3.1%. This is almost as high as December last year when it peaked at 3.5% before dropping sharply back to 1.4% by July.

Core Durable Goods, out on Friday 22nd at 1.30pm GMT, is a great indicator of manufacturing health and is likely to be less than the 0.9% revised figure from last month at 0.5% predicted suggesting things aren’t completely rosy.

It’s a mixed bag for the US but, in the context of a tax cutting bonanza for corporations, the economy looks appealing and many pundits see a strong currency.

3 GDPs to trade before Christmas

Lets see

This week we get to grips with GDP for three major economies – Canada, New Zealand and the United States as traders set up their positions for the holiday season. Gross Domestic Product is a popular snapshot into the economy as it measures the change in the value of all goods and services adjusted by inflation. 

Canada’s economy is either rebounding or back to Earth depending on which pundits you prefer. What they mean is it is anybody’s guess at this point. CAD is an interesting currency to trade and the uncertainty could give you plenty of opportunities to cash in. The forecast on Friday 22nd at 1.30pm GMT is for 0.2% to stay the same.

New Zealand seems to have a more positive consensus in analysts circles with views that its economy is on the up. But, in contrast, GDP growth may apparently slow. This month’s GDP news on Wednesday 20th at 9.45pm GMT is forecast to contract to 0.6% from 0.8%.

The U.S. releases its quarterly Final GDP data on Thursday 21st at 1.30pm GMT and it’s looking strong. If it reaches predictions of 3.3% it will almost be back at its December 2016 peak.

Oil: a booming market

Harry knows

Traders have enjoyed the strongest year in oil for some time with prices up almost 15% as we head towards the end of the year despite the raft of bearish news in recent weeks.

OPEC has worked hard to cut production although this hasn’t always been fully supported, even within its own ranks. The result has been generally positive and US Crude Oil Inventories also show reductions for the majority of the year since mid-February, supporting a rising price. Last week’s -5.1M barrels wasn’t dissimilar from the week before and there’s every indication that prices will remain strong. But every trader will tell you that oil can turn on a dime. The question is whether this is the week that will happen. Find out on Wednesday 19th at 3.30pm GMT.

Top Tiql Tips: 12th to 15th Dec 2017

On the 12th day of Christmas

With only a few weeks until the end of the year, we’ve giving you this free guide to help you to earn more with TIQL. Covering the markets and dates to watch this week, economic news and announcements cause financial markets to move a lot, and may provide some opportunities to trade.

Remember, you can earn some extra cash by inviting people to trade with TIQL. The very first time someone you invite makes a deposit of $5 of more, you will receive $1. Whoever you invite also gets $1 USD to trade with; you can’t get better than that! You can keep earning as we pay you a percentage every time your supporters trade with TIQL. Get all the details here.

USD: FOMC December Rate Hike
The vast majority of USD traders expect the FOMC to raise rates from 1.25% to 1.5% (Wednesday 13th 7pm GMT) so that’s already been priced in. What traders now want to know is where policy will be heading in 2018, which is a far less certain question.

Federal Chair Yellen steps down in February at the end of her first term so other voices are now becoming more significant. Jerome Powell will step up but there are also other key vacancies in the Bank and this leaves policy direction harder to forecast.

So far, officials have seemed confident of the dollar’s recovery so more interest rate rises are likely to be mentioned. Some even say there could be as many as three or four in 2018. The fly in the ointment is the persistently low inflation and concerns that the recovery is weaker than it appears. The Press Conference (13th 7.30pm) should reveal key points and see the dollar traded hard.

Global: Libor Bank Rate
The London Interbank Offered Rate is a key figure in the global banking industry used to price more than $350tn of financial products around the world. It’s the average figure at which banks are prepared to lend each other money and was established in London in 1986. There are actually a number of Libors and their rates often change daily.

The problem is that the 2008 scandals surrounding setting the rate mean it’s on its way out as no-one wants to be involved in setting it. It was rate-rigging in the City of London that is heavily linked to the crash. There is a new looming concern about what it will be replaced by.

This week a new CHF 3-month Libor Rate will be set (Thursday 14th 8.30am GMT) and it is a red-flag event in finance. Standing at -0.75%, there are conflicting views about what will happen. The rate is negative due to the ECB’s rather unconventional reflationary policy. Expect the EUR and GBP to react to any significant change.

GBP: BoE base rate
This week we’re all about the rates and the third of our key event posts focuses on the volatile currency of the year, GBP. The Bank of England reveals its latest base rate (currently 0.50%) only hours after Libor (Thursday 14th 12pm GMT), so expect volatility for the duration. The MPC is likely to return a 0-0-9 vote against raising rates (against 7-0-2 when it raised them previously) so the focus will be on the Monetary Policy Summary to see what the Committee’s views are on the future.

45 minutes later the ECB reveals its Minimum Bid Rate (Thursday 14th 12.45pm GMT), which could affect the EURGBP pair. As the two zones edge closer to a Brexit deal, traders have reacted well reaching a high not seen for six months last week so Thursday could see a lot of GBP action.

Here are the main news events to look out for this week:​

  • Tue Dec 12
    • 09:30:00 GMT GBP CPI y/y
    • 13:30:00 GMT USD PPI m/m
    • 19:00:00 GMT EUR ECB President Draghi Speaks
    • 22:15:00 GMT AUD RBA Gov Lowe Speaks
  • Wed Dec 13
    • 09:30:00 GMT GBP Average Earnings Index 3m/y
    • 13:30:00 GMT USD Core CPI m/m
    • 13:30:00 GMT USD CPI m/m
    • 15:30:00 GMT USD Crude Oil Inventories
    • 19:00:00 GMT USD FOMC Economic Projections
    • 19:00:00 GMT USD Federal Funds Rate
    • 19:00:00 GMT USD FOMC Statement
    • 19:30:00 GMT USD FOMC Press Conference
  • Thu Dec 14
    • 00:30:00 GMT AUD Employment Change
    • 00:30:00 GMT AUD Unemployment Rate
    • 09:30:00 GMT GBP Retail Sales m/m
    • 12:00:00 GMT GBP MPC Official Bank Rate Votes
    • 12:00:00 GMT GBP Monetary Policy Summary
    • 12:00:00 GMT GBP Official Bank Rate
    • 12:45:00 GMT EUR Minimum Bid Rate
    • 13:30:00 GMT USD Unemployment Claims
    • 13:30:00 GMT USD Core Retail Sales m/m
    • 13:30:00 GMT USD Retail Sales m/m
    • 13:30:00 GMT EUR ECB Press Conference
    • 17:25:00 GMT CAD BOC Gov Poloz Speaks

Some Markets to Watch…

AUDUSD: Although this pair is looking heavy, the Aussie is at a key technical level with previous demand, the half way back is nearby and an ascending trend line. The 0.75 price is a key level to watch. Keep an eye on any moves on the commodities such as gold, which will impact this FX pair.

BTCUSD: After an eye-watering retracement last week where we saw $13000 tested, it looks like bitcoin may try and test the all-time highs once again.

EURUSD: Pundits have been calling the end of Euro for some time but this pair remains in the range for now. We are watching the edges of the consolidation for the market to tip its hand.

Gold: Have we broken down or are we just running the stops at these lows? Daily closes under 1250 and we could see a deeper move down. Closes above 1260 and the bulls may try for some of the higher numbers.

USDJPY: We remain within the yearly range for now. The main levels to watch are 110.50 and 114.50 to see if these are defended as they have been before.

USDCAD: The lows held last week after that very bearish daily candle. It looks like the highs may be tested and we have the equidistant swing completing into the 200 SMA.

Whichever way you think these markets are going to go, you can trade these and other markets from as little as 1 cent with TIQL.

Markets can really move during news events; all TIQL trades come with guaranteed stops to always protect you from losing more than you have invested in a trade.

Deposit today from $5 with Skrill, Neteller, Paypal or Visa.
Good trading!
TIQL: Serious fun!

Play TIQL or follow us on Facebook or Twitter

TIQL is operated by Nous Global Limited, c/o ILS Fiduciaries (IOM) Ltd, First Floor, Millennium House, Victoria Road, Douglas, IM2 4RW, Isle of Man

Nous Global Limited is proud to be regulated by the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission under a licence issued under the Online Gambling Regulation Act 2001 on 12 April 2016

BoE base rate

It’s all about the base

This week we’re all about the base rates and the third of our key event posts focuses on the volatile currency of the year, GBP. On Thursday 14th at 12pm GMT the Bank of England reveals its latest base rate (currently 0.50%). As it comes only hours after Libor, expect volatility for the duration.

The MPC is likely to return a 0-0-9 vote against raising rates (against 7-0-2 when it raised them previously) so the focus will be on the Monetary Policy Summary to see what the Committee’s views are on the future.

Forty-five minutes later the ECB reveals its Minimum Bid Rate, which could affect the EURGBP pair. As the two zones edge closer to a Brexit deal, traders have reacted well reaching a high not seen for six months last week so Thursday could see a lot of GBP action.

Libor Bank Rate

It’s important?

The London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) is a key figure in the global banking industry used to price more than $350tn of financial products around the world. It’s the average figure at which banks are prepared to lend each other money and was established in London in 1986. There are actually a number of Libors and their rates often change daily.

The problem is that the 2008 scandals surrounding setting the rate mean it’s on its way out as no-one wants to be involved in setting it. It was rate-rigging in the City of London that is heavily linked to the crash. There is a new looming concern about what it will be replaced by.

This week a new CHF 3-month Libor Rate will be set on Thursday 14th at 8.30am and it is a red-flag event in finance. Standing at -0.75%, there are conflicting views about what will happen. The rate is negative due to the ECB’s rather unconventional reflationary policy. Expect the EUR and GBP to react to any significant change.

Final 2017 hike for FOMC?

Which way will rates go?

The vast majority of US traders expect the FOMC to raise rates from 1.25% to 1.5% on Wednesday 13th at 7pm GMT so that’s already been priced in. What traders now want to know is where policy will be heading in 2018, which is a far less certain question.

Federal Chair Yellen steps down in February at the end of her first term so other voices are now becoming more significant. Jerome Powell will step up but there are other key vacancies in the Bank and this leaves policy direction harder to forecast.

So far, officials have seemed confident of the dollar’s recovery so more interest rate rises are likely to be mentioned. Some even say there could be as many as three or four in 2018. The fly in the ointment is the persistently low inflation and concerns that the recovery is weaker than it appears. The Press Conference at 7.30pm GMT should reveal key points and see the dollar traded hard.