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UK gilts jump on lower-than-expected September CPI; BoE Governor Carney’s speech in focus

The United Kingdom’s gilts jumped during European trading hours Wednesday after the country’s consumer price inflation (CPI) for the month of September came in lower than market expectations, albeit remaining unchanged from that in August, while still eyeing the Bank of England (BoE) Governor Mark Carney’s speech, scheduled to be delivered today by 13:00GMT.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year gilts, plunged 4 basis points to 0.653 percent, the 30-year yield slumped 2 basis points to 1.133 percent and the yield on the short-term 2-year plummeted 3-1/2 basis points to 0.499 percent by 11:20GMT.

The headline rate of annual UK CPI inflation held steady in September, printing at 1.7 percent, against consensus expectations for a modest pickup to 1.8 percent.

That the headline rate of CPI failed to move higher last month, despite an uptick in the ‘core’ rate of CPI, which rose to 1.7 percent y/y from 1.5 percent in August, suggests that all of the downside surprise was due to softer-than-expected prices for food, drinks and energy-related goods and services.

Prices in these areas of the inflation basket are viewed as being more volatile and hence movements in these should be treated with caution. Nevertheless, and perhaps more crucially, the headline rate of CPI stayed below the key 2 percent mark for a second consecutive month, providing little justification for policymakers to consider hiking interest rates anytime soon.

Meanwhile, the FTSE 100 remained tad -0.39 percent down at 7,185.25 by 11:25GMT.

By Debarati Bir
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