M. Hewson: l’inflazione britannica è destinata a scendere ulteriormente
Il forte rialzo della sterlina sarà messo alla prova questa settimana da una serie di test chiave. Oggi i dati sull’inflazione di febbraio, che i mercati prevedono in calo in linea con le previsioni della Banca d’Inghilterra. Su base annuale dovrebbe esserci una flessione dal 3,6% di gennaio al 3,3%. Anche per i prezzi core è attesa una discesa. Su base mensile i prezzi al consumo sono invece previsti in rialzo dello 0,4%, in parte per effetto dell’aumento del 10% dei prezzi del greggio espressi in sterline in febbraio. I prezzi al dettaglio dovrebbero arretrare dal 3,9% al 3,5%.
C’è il timore che, nonostante la discesa dell’inflazione negli ultimi tre mesi, la pressione dei prezzi rimanga forte nel 2012, e che le stime della Banca d’Inghilterra per l’anno siano troppo ottimistiche. La crescita media delle retribuzioni inferiore all’inflazione si traduce in una compressione del reddito disponibile delle famiglie e questo lascerebbe al Cancelliere poco spazio per nuove misure fiscali nel bilancio atteso domani.
In Europa dopo il successo dell’asta dei CDS greci ieri, si guarda al Portogallo, dove è stato convocato uno sciopero contro l’austerità per il 22 marzo. Negli Usa in agenda i dati sulle nuove costruzioni.
EuroDollaro: una rottura significativa sopra 1,3290 ripropone i massimi dell’anno a 1,3490. In discesa il supporto resta il minimo di febbraio a 1,2975. EuroSterlina: il focus rimane sulla verifica dei minimi di gennaio a 0,8220. Il livello 0,8340/50 dovrebbe continuare ad agire come resistenza intermedia. DollaroYen: il test verso 85,15 rimane il prossimo target. Eventuali arretramenti dovrebbero trovare supporto a 82,85.
UK inflation set to fall further
Europe looks set to take a back seat today as inflation data from the UK takes centre stage. The recent strong rise in the pound is set to face the first of a number of key tests this week, starting today, with the publication of the latest inflation numbers for February. Markets are expecting the rate of inflation to fall further, in line with recent Bank of England predictions, when CPI data for February is published later this morning.
The year on year figure looks set to fall from 3.6% in January to 3.3% helped in no small part by price cuts by power companies which were announced in January. Core prices are also set to slide back from 2.6% to 2.3%. On the monthly measure consumer prices are expected to have risen by 0.4%, partially reversing the 0.5% drop in prices seen in January.
Part of this monthly rise can be explained by the 10% rise in crude oil prices in sterling terms in February, which cancelled out the cut in energy prices by the power companies, as petrol prices rose in response. Retail prices are also expected to slip back as well from 3.9% to 3.5%.
There is a concern that despite the rapid fall in inflation over the past three months, from 5% in November, that price pressures could well remain sticky through 2012; due to elevated oil prices with concerns that these prices could get passed down the supply chain, and has raised concerns that the Bank of England inflation estimates for 2012 are somewhat optimistic. With average earnings growth running well below inflation, as shown by data last week with a rise of only 1.4% on the quarter, households continue to see their disposable incomes eroded.
This pressure on incomes gives the Chancellor very little room for any form of new taxation measures in tomorrow’s budget, and has prompted calls in some quarters for the Chancellor to announce measures that could ease the burden on consumers. Later in the morning the latest CBI trend industrial orders data for March is due and after February’s better than expected -3, there is an expectation that the figure could well slip slightly to -5.
Concerns about Europe are never too far away despite yesterday’s successful conclusion of the Greece CDS auction. Markets remain concerned about Portugal, where a general strike against austerity was called for March 22nd, while the finance minister denied that it would need any further money in order to complete its reform program. Spain also remains a concern where borrowing costs are edging back up again as concern grows about the country’s ability to get its debts under control. In the US the latest housing starts data for (Feb) is due, with expectations that January’s positive surprise of 1.5% could well be tempered with a more modest 0.2% rise in February.
EURUSD – yesterday we saw the single currency push back above the 100 day MA at 1.3210 and it could well be heading for a re-test of the highs of the last two weeks at 1.3290. It is looking rather overbought on the 4 hour charts and as such could well struggle to overcome it in the short term. A significant break above the 1.3290 level retargets this year’s highs at 1.3490. Last week’s failure to close below 1.3070 was a disappointment and could herald a delay to the next move lower. On the downside the key support remains the February lows at 1.2975 on the way to 1.2800.
GBPUSD – yesterday’s close above the 200 day MA once again brings the 1.6000 level back into focus and the highs this year at 1.5990. It needs to get above the 1.5930 area first while a move above the 1.6000 level retargets the October and November highs at 1.6170. On the downside last week’s low at 1.5610 and 50% retracement of the entire up move from the 1.5240 lows to the 1.5990 highs, remains a key support. A break below 1.5610 argues for further weakness towards 1.5530, the 61.8% level of the same move as well as 1.5420.
EURGBP – yesterday’s lows at 0.8284 found bids again prompting a sharp rally but once again the selling interest around the 0.8350 level capped any further gains. The focus remains for a move towards a retest of the January lows at 0.8220. The 0.8340/50 level should continue to act as interim resistance followed by last week’s larger resistance at the 0.8425 level which precipitated the aggressive sell-off we saw at the beginning of last week.
USDJPY – yesterday’s down move found support at the 83.00 level before rebounding. The test towards 85.15 remains the next target which is the 50% level of the down move from the 2010 highs at 95 to the all time lows at 75.30. Any
pullbacks should find support at 82.85 which is the 38.2% Fib level of the same move, while below that the 80.60 now becomes a key support.