Mixed performance for Sterling this week as traders worked off diverse set of influences that included the usual global risk aversion sentiment, counter currency stories and net negative updates from the U.K.
United Kingdom Headlines and Economic data
- UK mortgage approvals hit six year high in February, before virus hit
- The net flow of UK consumer credit was £0.9 billion in February
- UK business confidence crashes on coronavirus hit: Lloyds
- UK economic growth flatlined even before coronavirus hit country
- Euro area annual inflation down to 0.7%
- U.K. shop prices fall further but experts warn virus could drive food inflation
- U.K. banks fall sharply after halting dividends at Bank of England’s request
- UK manufacturing output and new orders fall at quickest rates since mid-2012
- From this point on, it looks like global risk sentiment took over as the main driver for price action through the rest of the week, evidenced by Sterling’s move higher against the comdolls while falling against the “safe havens.” Global risk aversion sentiment shifted negative on Wednesday, correlating with U.S. President Trump’s change of sentiment on the coronavirus, warning of ‘very painful two weeks’ ahead.
- Annual house price growth edged higher before the pandemic struck the UK
- Volatility picked up in the British pound on the session, moving with the overall markets off of comments by U.S. President Trump on the potential for a oil production cut agreement between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
- UK Services PMI: Survey-record fall in service sector activity amid emergency measures to slow COVID-19 pandemic – this seems to have been the catalyst for the broad move lower in Sterling on the session, likely helped by global risk sentiment as it soured further on the economic damage being done from the global social lockdown, and/or continued coronavirus fears as cases and deaths continue to rise at a frightening pace (Coronavirus cases top 1 million globally).
- Boris Johnson to continue in self-isolation as he still has COVID-19 symptom