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Pound v US dollar: GBP exchange rate climbs to weekly high as FOMC minutes disappoint

Pound v US dollar: GBP exchange rate climbs to weekly high as FOMC minutes disappoint

The pound is currently at around $1.323 against the US dollar, up from the low of £1.318 struck immediately before the release of the FOMC minutes.

The US dollar slumped heavily during the Asian session last night as investors were left disappointed by the more dovish tone of the minutes from September's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting.

The main concern for investors were comments from FOMC members which suggested that the current low rates of inflation may not be as temporary as previously thought.

The minutes read: "Many participants expressed concern that the low inflation readings this year might reflect not only transitory factors, but also the influence of developments that could prove more persistent."

Fed chair Janet Yellen suggested that the current low levels of inflation were a bit of "a mystery", especially in face of falling unemployment, something that has historically helped boost inflation through rising wages and spending.

However despite the concerns over inflation, the minutes did indicate that the central bank is still set to implement another interest rate hike by the end of the year, with a December hike now seen as all but certain.

Meanwhile, Sterling remains a little subdued this morning as investors await the closing statement from the fifth round of Brexit talks later today, with Brexit Secretary David Davis and the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier expected to discuss the current state of negotiations.

While EU officials have reportedly described a "constructive mood" in negotiations, analysts suggest that the latest round of talks are unlikely to have resulted in any real breakthrough and will likely see EU leaders vote to delay the second stage of negotiations when they meet to discuss the progress of talks next week.

Looking ahead, the GBP/USD exchange rate may continue to push higher later this afternoon following a speech by Bank of England (BoE) Chief Economist Andy Haldane, with Sterling likely to advance if Haldane signals that he would support a rate hike in November.

Meanwhile, the US dollar may also find some strength this afternoon as the US releases its latest Producer Price Index, with economists forecasting that producer price growth will have picked up the pace again in September.