Quiet start to the week

It was a quiet start to the week on markets yesterday. The main currency pairs were little changed, with the euro continuing to hover just above $1.23 against the dollar and just below 89p against sterling. Bond yields in the core markets were unchanged to slightly lower on the day, while equities in the US and Europe made marginal gains

ECB member Smets says getting inflation in the Euro area back in line with the central bank’s target may take ‘somewhat more time’ than policy makers previously thought, while also adding that the ECB is still closely watching the euro’s exchange rate

The main data release today is the latest CPI in the US. This is expected to show the headline inflation rate ticking up to 2.2% in February, according to the consensus forecast, with the core rate expected to have remained unchanged at 1.8% last month. The latest small business optimism index is also published today – it is currently running at a high level reflecting the solid performance of the US economy

The UK Chancellor publishes the Spring Statement today. This is expected to show that government borrowing in the financial year ending this month was lower than forecast due to stronger than projected tax receipts. The Statement is also expected to show an upward revision to GDP growth forecasts from those published back at the time of the budget in November (they showed growth of 1.4% and 1.3% for 2018 and 2019 respectively).