All eyes on Italy’s election

We are less than a week away from finding out how the E.U.’s fourth largest economy’s electorate will vote on Sunday 4th March – a election that has flown largely under the radar.

Opinion polls show that no party has a clear majority, meaning a coalition is likely. The result will be watched closely to see how the ‘anti-E.U.’ parties perform. The Five Star Movement party, which was started by a comedian and blogger, is currently ahead in the polls and has previously floated the idea of a referendum on the use of the Euro.

Jerome Powell’s first appearance on Capitol Hill

The Chairman of the Federal Reserve will make two appearances this week, firstly before the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday and the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday. On the agenda among other things will be inflation, the recent fiscal stimulus, and most importantly for the dollar, the central bank’s plans to raise interest rates in 2018.

Sterling fails to stay above 1.40

The pound had a bright start to the day after the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England echoed comments made last week by colleagues around the need to raise U.K. interest rates sooner than previously anticipated.

Having opposed the BoE’s decision to raise rates in November, his shift in stance increases the likelihood of a rate hike in May. However, Governor Mark Carney has continued to err on the side of caution when it comes to raising rates, constantly pointing to the uncertainty around the UK’s economic position after Brexit.

These early gains by the pound were quickly erased with the dollar strengthening significantly after North American markets opened.