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Friday March 21, 2014 - 15:59:31 GMT
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• UK CPI inflation to drop further below 2%

• Fed speakers watched for greater clarity following Yellen’s comments

• Euro wide survey data to point to ongoing signs of recovery


Yellen sparks bond market sell-off... While the rising political temperature in the Ukraine continues to pose significant event risk, global financial market sentiment has been diverted by what many have interpreted to be muddled comments from Janet Yellen. Bond yields have moved higher and yield curves have generally steepened on suggestions by the new Fed Chair that US interest rates may rise earlier than previously thought.


Chancellor springs a surprise... UK yields have also risen, partly in response to US events, as well as surprise Budget changes. Although the overall stance of the Budget was fiscally neutral, the Chancellor’s announcement that those individuals with defined contribution schemes will no longer be required to buy annuities has raised concerns about future demand for gilts, especially at the long end of the curve. Over the week, 30-yr gilt yields have risen by around 10bp to 3.55%.


UK inflation headed lower... This negative sentiment could be reversed in the coming week by softer inflation and retail sales data. Headline CPI is forecast to have dropped to a 4-year low of 1.7%, while retail sales are projected to have fallen by 0.2% albeit, we suspect, weather impacted. Final Q4 GDP is also due, as well as the latest LB Business Confidence Barometer (see back page). Close attention is also likely to be paid to the statement from the Financial Policy Committee (FPC). Following Governor Carney’s comments in the Mais Lecture, any references/ recommendations made by the FPC regarding the housing market are likely to be scrutinized particularly closely.


US personal spending watched for Q1 GDP impact... Elsewhere, the upcoming US economic calendar is fairly heavy, but bereft of headline releases. Personal spending, home sales, consumer confidence, durable goods and final Q4 GDP data are the highlights. Of these, personal spending is perhaps the most important as it feeds directly into Q1 GDP. That said, we doubt any of these releases will prompt a sharp market reaction, especially given the ongoing debate over the impact of the severe winter. Instead, the main focus is likely to remain on the Fed.


Yellen taken out of context?...This week’s FOMC statement and post meeting press conference has left markets pondering whether the Fed is now signalling a less dovish policy outlook. At the press conference, Yellen appeared to inadvertently answer that US interest rates could rise as early as next spring. While we suspect Yellen did not intend to be quite so direct, with the majority of the FOMC anticipating that rates will be 1% by end 2015, recent market nervousness is understandable. With a number of Fed members due to speak over the coming week, markets will be watching for any clarification/confirmation of the Fed’s intentions.


Survey data to point to ongoing recovery... In the euro area, preliminary manufacturing and service sector PMIs for March are released on Monday. These are followed by the German IFO (Tues) and the European Commission’s region wide consumer and business confidence surveys (Fri). Overall, we expect these to remain consistent with ongoing gradual recovery across the region, but strength in Germany. Although the German ZEW index posted a sharp drop in March, even after the latest drop the index remains at a high level, especially when compared with other surveys. Euro area money supply figures are also due (Thurs). After the AQR-inspired rush by banks to raise capital at the end of 2013, money supply growth appears to have bottomed out. We expect annual M3 to have nudged up again in February






This document, its contents and any related communication (altogether, the 'Communication') does not constitute or form part of any offer to sell or an invitation to subscribe for, hold or purchase any securities or any other investment. This Communication shall not form the basis of or be relied on in connection with any contract or commitment whatsoever. This Communication is not intended to form, and should not form, the basis of any investment decision. This Communication is not and should not be treated as investment research, a research recommendation, an opinion or advice. Recipients should conduct their own independent enquiries and obtain their own professional legal, regulatory, tax or accounting advice as appropriate. Any transaction which a recipient of this Communication may subsequently enter into may only be on the basis of such enquiries and advice, and that recipient’s own knowledge and experience. This Communication has been prepared by, and is subject to the copyright of, Lloyds. This Communication may not, in whole or in part, be reproduced, transmitted, stored in a retrieval system or translated in any other language in any form, by any means without the prior written consent of Lloyds. This Communication is provided for information purposes only, and is confidential and may not be referred to, disclosed, reproduced or redistributed, in whole or in part, to any other person. This Communication is based on current public information.


 Whilst Lloyds TSB ank plc (“Lloyds TSB”) and Bank of Scotland plc ("Bank of Scotland") have exercised reasonable care in preparing this material and any views or information expressed or presented are based on sources it believes to be accurate and reliable, no representation or warranty, express or implied, is made as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of the facts and data contained herein.


This material has been prepared for information purposes only and Lloyds TSB, Bank of Scotland, their directors, officers and employees are not responsible for any consequences arising from any reliance upon such information. Under no circumstances should this material be treated as an offer or solicitation to offer, to buy or sell any product or enter into any transaction. If you receive information from us which is inconsistent with other information which you have received from us, you should refer this to your Lloyds TSB or Bank of Scotland Relationship Manager for clarification.


Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets, Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets and Lloyds TSB are trading names of Lloyds TSB Bank plc, Lloyds TSB Scotland plc and Bank of Scotland plc. Lloyds TSB Bank plc. Registered Office: 25 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HN. Registered in England and Wales no. 2065. Lloyds TSB Scotland plc. Registered Office: Henry Duncan House, 120 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 4LH. Registered in Scotland no. 95237. Bank of Scotland plc. Registered Office: The Mound, Edinburgh EH1 1YZ. Registered in Scotland no. SC32700. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority under registration numbers 119278, 191240 and 169628 respectively.


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