Goldman Sachs and Citigroup projecting US rates increase by 50 Bps

GBP

Friday saw the release of key sales data. UK’s Retail Sales declined by 0.3% in February, lower than the 0.6% increase expected and trailed January’s 1.9% reading. Furthermore, sales excluding petrol fell 0.7% in February and missed forecasts with around a 0.5% increment estimate.

USD

Meanwhile in the US, two large commercial banks expect the central bank to hike rates by 50 basis points. On Friday, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup expressed that they are projecting the Federal Reserve will deliver an increase of 50 Bps in their meetings of May and June. If this happens, it would lift the interest rate to 1.50% by the end of the first half of the year. The reason being for this forecast was due to Fed Chairman Jerome Powell stating he was open to an increase of more than 25 Bps to combat the rising inflation currently seen in the US.

Markets’ focus is still firmly on Ukraine-Russia peace talks, which seem to have stalled last week. However morning reports reveal President Zelenskiy is willing to discuss Ukraine’s ‘neutral status’ in the next peace talks. Markets therefore await further developments.