• The pound has added to recent gains today to trade at levels not seen since just after the Brexit vote
  • USD on course for a good week but soft retail sales see a paring of gains
  • US500 and US30 post record highs. US100 remains a laggard
  • Cryptocurrencies fall sharply before attempting to recover

 An apparent hawkish shift in his stance on monetary policy has seen arch dove Vlieghe today express his support for hiking rates “within months” in an event that completes a hat-trick of positive GBP stories this week following the rise in UK CPI on Tuesday and hawkish BoE statement yesterday.The comments saw the pound take off, rising to its highest level against the US dollar since the day after the Brexit vote.

Whilst it has not enjoyed as good as week as the pound, the USD is sitting on notable gains since markets closed last Friday, and there are signs of green shoots of recovery. The greenback suffered a hiccup this afternoon however, with US retail sales m/m unexpectedly sliding back into negative territory and continuing a fairly clear run of disappointment of late for this data point.

Overall, its been another good week for U stock markets with the US500 and US30 both posting record highs. The US100 however has been lagging somewhat and Thursday’s decline came after the market fell just short of the all-time high at 6019.

 This week is likely to be the worst for Bitcoin since January 2015. The sell-off gathered momentum on Monday and deepened afterwards. China has been decisively the largest accomplice of that rout. What’s more, the country aims to stop exchange trading of cryptocurrencies by the end of September, according to people familiar with the matter. There has been a fairly strong bounce in crypto markets this afternoon but they remain under pressure heading into the weekend.