European markets seen higher as investors look to Carney speech, data

Sterling fell by nearly a full cent against the dollar on Tuesday after Bank of England governor Mark Carney said now was not the time to raise interest rates, dashing some investors' hopes that the central bank had shifted in that direction.

"From my perspective, given the mixed signals on consumer spending and business investment, and given the still subdued domestic inflationary pressures, in particular anemic wage growth, now is not yet the time to begin that adjustment", he said.

Delivering his delayed Mansion House speech, Mr Carney said: "Different members of the Monetary Policy Committee will understandably have different views about the outlook and therefore on the potential timing of any Bank rate increase".

Over the coming months, Carney wanted to see the extent to which weaker consumption growth is offset by other components of demand, whether wages begin to firm and how the economy reacts to tighter financial conditions.

The pound sank on the news, falling 0.4% against the dollar and euro to 1.26 and 1.13 respectively.

In the text of a speech that was due to be delivered last week at the annual Mansion House dinner, but was delayed as a mark of respect to the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire in West London, Carney also said that Britain's European Union exit negotiations would signal "the extent to which Brexit is a gentle stroll along a smooth path to a land of cake and consumption".

The governor also mounted a robust defence of London's euro clearing market, which has come under threat after the result of last year's Brexit vote.

"Fragmentation is in no one's economic interest".

Carney said fragmentation of such global markets by jurisdiction or currency would reduce the benefits of central clearing, which ensures the safe completion of a trade.

"The European Commission´s proposals announced last week recognise the importance of effective cooperation arrangements between the relevant EU authorities and their overseas counterparts", Carney said.

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