The Bank of England’s interest rate decision is the main event today, although policymakers are expected to stand pat.

Still, the decision comes at an interesting time, with the British pound flirting with the $1.30 level for the first time since October. Sterling was trading flat in Asia at $1.2938.

Stocks across Asia have mostly been higher. Japan’s Topix was up 0.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.3 per cent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was fractionally higher.

Currencies were mixed against the US dollar. The New Zealand dollar was the worst of the lot, down 1.5 per cent after the country’s central bank left rates on hold, as expected, but delivered a more dovish policy statement than traders had anticipated.

Companies slated to report today include: Enel, Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica, Credit Agricole, Supergroup, BT, as well as annual general meetings for Serco, Ascential, Direct Line, Lloyds Bank, SIG and RBS.

Here is today’s economic calendar (London times):

  • 08.15: Switzerland inflation
  • 08.30: Sweden inflation
  • 09.30: UK industrial and manufacturing production
  • 09.30: UK trade balance
  • 10.00: Greek unemployment
  • 10.00: ECB growth forecasts
  • 10.30: South Africa mining production
  • 12.00: Bank of England policy decision
  • 13.00: BoE presser

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