If you’re a trader, we’re sure you know how important the financial year is. Despite this, many don’t know the key dates to watch out for, meaning they could easily miss significant events that can impact the trading world. In this article, we’ll look at a few dates that you should keep a close eye on.
February 1st — MPC Meeting
This is the Bank of England’s first Monetary Policy Committee meeting of the year and plays a crucial role in setting the tone for the remainder of the calendar year. This meeting is when they will decide whether the base rate will be changed, and after countless consecutive increases, it’s probably wise to prepare for yet another increase at the start of 2024. While there is speculation that the base rate could fall, we’re in unusual times, and traders should take nothing for granted — especially regarding financial policies.
The meeting is significant for traders because it will have a notable impact on the value of the British pound and how others perceive it. Arguments can be made concerning the merits and detractions of a strong or weak pound, but for traders, stability is vital when looking at one of the most influential currencies, as is the case with GBP. Any seismic changes would spell disaster for many, plunging the market into chaos, especially if you have an interest in trading forex.
March – Budget Announcement
Although we don’t appear to have a definite date yet, last year’s budget was delivered in March, so we have no reason to believe 2024’s will come any earlier or later. In case you’re unaware, this is when the government will announce its policies for the upcoming year, including how much things are expected to cost and how much this will increase the national debt, as has been the case for some time. After Liz Truss’s disastrous mini-budget in 2022, it’s hard to see any potential announcements having quite the same negative impact, but nothing is certain.
This date is critical for traders because the government’s direction will dictate the value of the British Pound and many other trading assets, such as private stocks, government bonds, and even commodities like steel or grain. A progressive agenda would likely increase confidence in the UK’s investment potential and encourage further trading using the British Pound, which is what many will hope for, while others may wish for a dip as this can often represent a great buying opportunity.
April 6th — New Tax Year
This is the big one — and the one you’ve probably been waiting for. Arguably the worst time of year, April is notorious among side hustlers and self-employed workers because it’s when the previous tax year ends and the new one begins. While there are landmark changes that you’ll suddenly need to grapple with once the tax year changes, it does beckon a process that can involve a lot of work, depending on how organised you’ve been.
If you undertake your own accountancy and send off your tax return yourself, without anybody else’s help, this might be a good time to take official leave to do your taxes. While this is relatively easy to complete should you have everything you need, you don’t want to get distracted by anything that could cause you to make a mistake, so taking your time to ensure you’ve done it correctly is a wise decision. If you’re not confident in your bookkeeping abilities, you could instead work with a financial advisor or an accountant who is familiar with the nuances of your work, as this should give you a lot more peace of mind.
July – Inflation Announcement
While we often see updates regarding the inflation rate throughout the year, this July announcement is significant because it often sets the tone for changes that will come later. Rail fare prices, for example, are often dictated by this, while many other things are often tied to it, making it something that you should keep a close eye on should you invest in stocks and shares of public services.
As well as the indirect effects, the inflation rate is something you should watch out for, as this will impact all trades you make, especially regarding currency exchange. A high inflation rate can indicate market volatility and uneasy consumer spending. However, this can attract some traders who see this as an opportunity to get better returns for their UK bonds.
Using These Dates
If you’re a trader, you should be aware of these dates and the impact they can have. Even if they don’t directly relate to the world of forex or stock trading, they can still impact prices and the market as a whole, not just in the UK but globally. So remember to stay on top of the news and watch out for critical announcements throughout the year.