Forex - Pound Pushes Higher as Consumer Credit Rises

Forex - Pound Pushes Higher as Consumer Credit Rises

Investing.com  | Jan 30, 2018 10:27

Forex - Pound Pushes Higher as Consumer Credit Rises

Investing.com - The pound pushed higher on Tuesday against most major currencies following the release of Bank of England data showing that consumer lending grew more than expected in December.

At 10:30 GMT, GBP/USD was 1.4100, up 0.18% from the previous session close of 1.4075.

Immediately prior to the Bank of England data release at 09:30 GMT, cable was down to 1.4028. Earlier on Tuesday the pound sank to its week low below 1.40.

Bank of England data showed consumer lending grew 9.5% in December, from November’s growth of 9.3%.

The BoE consumer credit was 1.520 billion in December, better than the 1.300 billion forecast. November consumer credit was 1.497 billion, revised upward from 1.400 billion.

Net lending to individuals increased by £5.2 billion in December, matching November’s upwardly revised figure. Analysts had predicted an increase of £4.8 billion. November’s figure was revised upward to £5.2 billion, from £4.9 billion.

Mortgage approvals were down in December, missing the forecast figure. Mortgage approvals fell to 61.04K from 64.71K in November, downwardly revised from 65.14K. The consensus figure was 66.00K.

The amount of mortgage approvals in December was the lowest since January 2015. The Bank of England increased interest rates to 0.5% in November 2017.

Mortgage lending increased by 3.68 billion in December, compared to 3.74 billion the month before. The forecast figure had been 3.45 billion.

M4 Money Supply decreased by 0.6% in December, lower than the forecast increase of 0.2%. The figure for November was revised upward from 0.1% to 0.2%.

The pound rallied last week, reaching post-Brexit referendum highs of above 1.43. Sterling came under pressure on Monday following a report from the House of Lords that stated the legislation to exit the EU had ‘fundamental flaws’.

The legislation has been voted through the House of Commons, however the House of Lords will begin debating the legislation this week.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was down 0.26% to 88.94.

Investors will be watching President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech in the early hours of Wednesday morning, and Federal Reserve policy meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

EUR/GBP was up 0.11% at 0.8808. Prior to the data release from the BoE, the single currency was 0.8828 against the pound.

Eurozone GDP marked the bloc's strongest growth for a decade. Annual growth for 2017 was 2.7%, while growth in the fourth quarter of 2017 came in as expected at 0.6%. Growth in the third quarter was revised upward to 0.7% from 0.6%. EUR/USD rose 0.31% to 1.2421.

Sterling was lower against the safe haven currencies. GBP/CHF dropped 0.30% to 1.3157, while GBP/JPY was 153.15, down just 0.14%, compared with 152.42 prior to BoE data.

Sterling was fairly flat against the commodity currencies. GBP/NZD was almost unchanged at 1.9225, GBP/AUD edged up 0.16% to 1.7418.

GBP/CAD was flat at 1.7369.

Investors will be looking to the GfK consumer confidence on Wednesday and manufacturing PMI from the UK on Thursday. UK Construction PMI will be released on Friday.

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