26/03/2020

USD falls ahead of jobless claims report


GBP

The Bank of England and Britain’s finance ministry will resume their coordinated drive on Thursday to prevent the coronavirus-related shutdown of swathes of the economy from triggering a long and deep recession.

The Bank of England, which has made two emergency cuts to interest rates this month, boosted its bond-buying programme by a further 9% of British economic output. It has also taken a string of other measures to help lending and is likely to hold off on further action when it makes a statement at 12:00 GMT.

Governor Andrew Bailey, who has been in the job for less than two weeks, along with other top Bank of England officials, has suggested they will not cut the Bank Rate from its new all-time low of 0.1% into negative territory.

Instead, they are likely to underscore their determination to take more radical measures – probably a further increase in their quantitative easing programme – if needed to steer Britain’s economy out of its expected slump.

USD

The dollar fell during early Thursday trade. This is due to markets expecting a surge in US claims for unemployment benefits as companies lay off workers due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus.

The US weekly jobless claims figure is schedule to be released this afternoon. Investors expect a sharp rise of close to one million, which would be well above the previous peak seen during the global financial crisis. Some analysts say jobless claims could even exceed one million as companies are expected to rapidly shed workers.

Republicans and Democrats in the US Senate hoped to vote on Wednesday on a $2 trillion emergency package, but found themselves fending off critics from the right and left who threatened to hold up the bill. US President Donald Trump is expected to swiftly sign the bill into law, but a Senate vote has yet to be scheduled.

Key Announcements

12.00 – GBP: MPC Official Bank Rates Vote
12.00 – GBP: Monetary Policy Summary
12.00 – GBP: Official Bank Rate
12.30 – USD: Unemployment Claims; Forecast at 1648k against previous of 281k


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