THE minutes from this month’s Bank of England meeting will push sterling’s fortunes back into the spotlight. The outlook for the pound has been somewhat eclipsed by the euro in recent days given concerns over the Irish economy.

Certainly any suggestion in the minutes that there is mounting support for a second round of QE could unsettle investors and see the pound struggle as a result. But with many seeing it as improbable that we can go more than another year without a rate hike, the longer-term view will remain for better yields. The current IG Index price on sterling-dollar is $1.6036-$1.6039.

Friday’s sell-off in the markets could provide spread betters with a good buying opportunity as we enter the most bullish period of the year for equity markets. The FTSE 100 usually rallies at this time of year in the run-up to Christmas. Capital Spreads quotes a price of 5,796-5,797 for the UK 100 index.

The equity markets weren’t the only ones to experience a sell-off. After hitting 30-year highs of 33.36 cents per pound last Thursday, sugar prices tumbled 18 per cent to lows of 27.37 cents at the end of last week.

Investors were looking to take gains and an upward revision to India’s sugar surplus added to the bearish momentum. With sugar trading at 22.96 cents at the start of last month, spread betters believe there could be further to fall and have been opening up short positions. Spreadex has a March Sugar #11 contract with a spread of 27.75c-27.85c.