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The conference board’s consumer confidence and new home sales both came in well ahead of estimates, but this wasn’t enough to lift sentiment. Fed members were also quite vocal with Dudley saying a mid-2015 rate hike seemed reasonable, while Plosser suggested the Fed is closer to meeting its twin objectives. Risk assets lost some ground, while the yen and gold were bid higher in a flight to safety.
Markets focused on Vladimir Putin proposing to withdraw a mandate to use military forces in Ukraine. While this was a positive and resulted in some stability in European trade, further reports that Syrian warplanes attacked targets in western Iraq sent risk assets into a spin again. Additionally pro-Russian militants remained active in Ukraine despite reports Putin called a ceasefire.
Cable retreats on Carney comments
Perhaps the most significant move in the FX space was GBP/USD dropping back below 1.7000 on the back of Mark Carney comments, reinforcing there is scope to absorb more slack before a rate increase. Additionally, while prices are rising, it seems wage growth is limited and this means any rate hikes are likely to be gradual and limited.
While the pair has pulled back, there is still a fairly solid uptrend in place which will give traders the opportunity to buy the pair on dips. This uptrend line comes in at around 1.6900 and has been in place since July 2013.