The Bank of England stays put

09/23/2021 | 07:13am

Another decisive day today, with eyes on China's property giant Evergrande. Struggling under a mountain of debt, it is due to pay a domestic coupon today – or risk default, which carries a systemic risk. But investors are hopeful, since the company did say earlier this week that it would be able to make the payment.

Jerome Powell and his team also did not announce a reduction in the asset purchase program at the beginning of this fall, but made it clear that the announcement will take place - barring any unforeseen circumstances - at the next meeting in early November. Implementation is expected to begin shortly thereafter. The dismantling of the coronavirus support package was expected and did not provoke much reaction, apart from criticism from those who believe that it should no longer be in place, given the current economic dynamics.

Central banks remain the focus of attention, as policy makers in the U.K. gave their verdict. The Bank of England decided to keep its main interest rate steady at 0.1% and kept its 895 billion pound asset purchase target.

Norway’s Norges Bank decided today to increase interest rates, and warned more interest rate rises would come soon. It lifted rates by 0.25 percentage points from their record low of zero. 

The FTSE100 closed up 1.5% yesterday and is now up 1.7% for the week. It is up 0.5% this morning, led by energy and mining stocks.

Royal Mail is up 2.1% after it said it expects a surge in first-half operating profit to between 395 million and 400 million pounds.

Today, the preliminary purchasing managers' surveys for the U.K. and eurozone will also be watched.


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