British CPI first, then it’s over to Jerome By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Clubcard branding is seen next to shoppers inside a branch of a Tesco Extra Supermarket in London, Britain, February 10, 2022. REUTERS/Paul Childs

A look at the day ahead in European and global markets from Tom Westbrook

Jerome Powell has a needle to thread today between markets eager to call a peak in interest rates and the rising energy costs that are leading an unwelcome comeback in inflation.

If Fed members also stick with June projections for rate cuts in 2024, then his explanation job gets even trickier as he will be pressed to lay out the conditions for bringing rates down, all while leaving himself a free hand to raise them if need be.

Markets expect the Fed to keep rates on hold, but have priced about a 40% chance of another hike by year’s end.

Canada’s bigger-than-expected bounce in consumer prices, driven by surging gasoline costs, might provide handy evidence for the Fed to err on the restrictive side of rates settings.

Markets have roughly doubled the likely risk of a hike in Canada to about 40% after annual headline inflation jumped to 4% in August from 3.3% a month earlier.

Higher energy prices could also drive a surprise in British CPI at 0600 GMT, where economists see the year-on-year headline figure rising to 7% in August from 6.8% in July.

Sterling has found support from the risk of a hot reading, with a 32% rise in futures over the past three months pointing to upside risks and more chance the Bank of England hikes rates beyond an expected rise on Thursday.

Investors were playing a waiting game in Asia. Stocks drifted lower. China declined to cut rates, weighing on Chinese stocks, while currency trade was in a holding pattern. [FRX/]

Chinese developers Sunac and Country Garden brought some relief to the crisis-hit property sector by forging debt deals with creditors, but the outlook remained clouded by uncertainty about a recovery in home sales.

It’s over to you, Jerome.

Key developments that could influence markets on Wednesday:

British CPI

Federal Reserve policy decision and press conference

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