U.K. Traders Are Now Betting on BOE Rate Hike by September 2022

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Money markets are wagering on an increase in Bank of England borrowing costs as soon as next year, having only recently erased bets on negative rates.

Traders now see 15 basis points of tightening in September 2022. That’s a sharp turnaround from the second half of last year, when traders were contemplating rates of as low as minus 0.1% after the central bank said it was studying the feasibility of such a move.

They only removed bets on further loosening in February, when policy makers stressed that negative rates are not imminent as the U.K.’s vaccine rollout transformed the nation’s monetary policy debate. A larger-than-expected increase in U.S. consumer prices on Wednesday triggered a global rates selloff, sending benchmark gilt yields to their highest level in around two months and spurring traders to bring forward their expectations for a BOE rate hike.

The central bank traditionally shifts its key interest rate by multiples of 25 basis points, though it cut rates by 15 basis points in March 2020, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. If officials wanted to tighten financing conditions, a move back to 0.25% is seen by strategists as a plausible first step.

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