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Market Watch: UK Inflation Drops, Fed Decision in Focus

UK Inflation drops

UK inflation drops, keeping GBP/USD steady. The BoE holds rates, but eyes are on the Fed. Powell will unveil a dot plot.

Recent data released by the Office for National Statistics show that the United Kingdom experienced a faster-than-expected decline in inflation for February. Driven primarily by a decrease in food prices, headline inflation dropped to 3.4%, down from January’s 4%, slightly below market forecasts of 3.5%. Meanwhile, core inflation fell to 4.5%, below market estimates of 4.6%. This development bodes well for the Bank of England’s efforts to stabilize inflation at the 2% target rate.

Market participants anticipate the Bank of England’s upcoming Monetary Policy Committee meeting, expecting unchanged interest rates. However, the dovish members of the BoE may be encouraged by the latest inflation figures to advocate for a rate cut, with market probabilities now suggesting a potential move in August and a rising chance for action in June.

Market Watch: UK Inflation Drops, Fed Decision in Focus

Meanwhile, all eyes are on the Federal Reserve, preparing to announce its monetary policy decision later today. Chair Jerome Powell will unveil the latest dot plot, reflecting Fed members’ projections for future interest rates—current projections center around 4.625%, indicating the possibility of three 25-basis-point increases this year. The unveiling of the new dot plot and Powell’s commentary will be pivotal for the trajectory of the US dollar.

Amidst these developments, the GBP/USD pair has seen marginal movement post-data, with Cable holding steady around the 1.2700 mark. However, the potential for US dollar strength could be seen in GBP/USD testing support levels ahead of the Fed announcement, with 1.2667 looming as a significant level. Currently, observers note resistance at 1.2742.

Analysis of retail trading data from IG suggests that 52.58% of traders are net-long on GBP/USD, with a ratio of long to short traders at 1.11 to 1. While sentiment remains predominantly long, contrarian analysis suggests a potential for further declines in GBP/USD prices.

The anticipation surrounding the Fed’s decision and the ongoing dynamics in UK inflation will likely continue to influence currency markets in the near term.

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