Marketmind: UK awaits CPI; US debt standoff casts long shadow


A look at the day ahead in European and global markets from Kevin Buckland

Britain gets a read on how much inflation is receding under the weight of 450 basis points of hikes since December 2021, when rates were near zero.

The consensus call is for a retreat to 8.2% for April, ostensibly much less painful than the previous month’s 10%-plus, but still more than four times the Bank of England’s target.

Whatever the outcome, the official reaction will come quickly, with Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey on speaking duty twice today.

He kept his cards close to his chest in questioning by lawmakers on Tuesday, saying, “I can’t tell you whether we’re near to the peak, I can’t tell you whether we are at the peak, (only) I think we are nearer to the peak than we were.”


The big story in the Asia day was the Reserve Bank of New Zealand again taking investors by surprise, this time by signalling an end to the tightening cycle after hiking by a quarter point. Markets had been betting on another 25 basis points before the peak, and the kiwi dollar nose-dived.

ECB President Christine Lagarde makes the opening remarks at a celebration to mark the central bank’s 25th anniversary. She recently told her colleagues to “buckle up” in the battle on inflation, and that sentiment was backed on Tuesday by both the Bundesbank president and the head of Deutsche Bank.

In the United States, investors will be parsing the minutes of this month’s meeting to see how many officials supported the decision to soften guidance on future hikes, as they try and get a read on the odds of a hike in June.

Of course, hanging over everything continues to be the debt ceiling impasse. As long as there is no deal, the risk of a disastrous default cannot be discounted, with only about a week to go before June 1, the date that the U.S. government has warned it may be unable to pay its bills.

European stocks are likely poised for further declines, after Asia got knocked back again, with more than 1% drops for benchmarks in Tokyo and Hong Kong.

More developments that could influence markets on Wednesday:

Germany Ifo business climate index (May)

Fed Governor Christopher Waller speaks

Nvidia earnings

(Reporting by Kevin Buckland; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)