Risk on for Asia, with UK Inflation and the Pound in Focus

UK Inflation Surge Boosts British Pound

Risk on for Asia, with UK Inflation and the Pound in Focus

The July figure had seen inflation stumble for the first time since October and the pound sank as speculation circled that lower inflation may relieve pressure on the Bank of England (BoE) to raise rates.

Rwanda's Consumer Price Index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation has risen 3.2 percent year on year in August 2017 down from 3.5 percent in July 2017. That equaled the four-year high set in May of this year.

Another report from ONS showed that output price inflation accelerated for the first time in six months in August.

Analysts were caught off guard by the highest rate of inflation since May, as United Kingdom consumer households feel the impact of a weaker pound and slow wage growth. Wages are now rising at an annual rate of around 2.1%.

Inflation that threatens the 3% level might just be enough to bring about a change of rhetoric Thursday, which is propping up the Pound against the rest of the G10 basket, although the jury is still out on whether the Bank of England would actually hike rates in the current environment.

But things are finally looking up as the pound to euro exchange rate reaches a three-and-a-half week high, following news that Britain's inflation rate has jumped to 2.9% in August, from 2.6% in July.

Having strengthened to less than 91 pence per euro for the first time in nearly a month on Monday, it rose 0.1% to 90.67 pence on Tuesday and also gained 0.3% to $1.3203.

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News that the European Union and Britain had agreed to move the next round of Brexit talks to the week beginning September 25 - from September 18 previously - because of the British political calendar had no discernible impact on sterling, with focus on the BoE's policy meeting on Thursday.

She said: "Worries about high inflation expectations becoming entrenched and the degree of spare capacity in the economy may well lead to more MPC members voting for a rate hike sooner rather than later".

Food, alcohol and tobacco price growth dropped between July and August but otherwise all sectors experienced inflationary pressure.

The pound jumped against other currency majors on Tuesday when United Kingdom inflation data came in stronger-than-forecast.

If the minutes reveal more policymakers backing higher interest rates (more than the previous 2 out of 8), then the Pound could appreciate.

However, the euro later ticked higher, rising to $1.1955, as ECB Vice President Vitor Constancio started speaking. "However, ultimately the real decider for sterling is likely to be how much tolerance for inflation the BOE signals on Thursday".

The rate is, however, still below the Reserve Bank of India medium-term target of 4 per cent.

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