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Can the pound hit new post-Brexit highs this week?

currency-newsCan the pound hit new post-Brexit highs this week?
Although the pound slid as markets reopened following the bank holiday break, the British currency had previously motored its way to new multi-month highs against a number of the majors.

As well as striking a seven-month high against the US dollar and its best level against the New Zealand dollar since July 2016, the pound achieved its strongest rate against the Canadian dollar since the UK’s decision to break with the EU last June.

However, the pound softened slightly on Tuesday ahead of the release of the UK’s manufacturing PMI.
GBP/EUR dipped from €1.1832 to €1.1779, GBP/USD tumbled from $1.2909 to $1.2863, GBP/AUD dipped from AU$1.7131 to AU$1.7066 and GBP/CAD briefly edged below C$1.76.

But is the pound’s outlook positive this week? Keep scrolling to find out…

What’s been happening?  

Last week’s UK growth data may have been a tad disappointing (showing the slowest rate of growth for a year) but the pound largely ignored the GDP report and remained trading close to some of its best levels since the EU referendum.

The US dollar, meanwhile, was undermined by sub-par US growth stats and a steep slide in US manufacturing output.

Demand for the euro remained mixed ahead of the second round of the French Presidential election, with a report showing an acceleration in Eurozone inflation doing little to boost the common currency.

Canadian dollar weakness was largely the result of concerns about US President Donald Trump’s trade plans and declining oil prices, while profit-taking and outperforming manufacturing data from Australia caused GBP/AUD to edge away from its recent highs.
The Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) interest rate decision was a bit of a non-event, with the central bank maintaining the status quo. 

What’s coming up?

The biggest releases on the UK calendar this week are the nation’s manufacturing, services, construction and composite PMIs for April.

Slowing growth – particularly in the all-important services sector – would be pound-negative.

According to Lloyds; ‘Following the disappointing first read of Q1 UK GDP last week, the coming week’s PMIs for April will be monitored for insights on prospects for the second quarter, starting with the manufacturing PMI today. The headline index recorded its third consecutive monthly decline in March, dropping to a four month low of 54.2.’

If, however, the PMI reports show unexpected growth they could prove to be the boost GBP exchange rates need to achieve new best levels.

Eurozone unemployment data could inspire euro movement today. If the rate of joblessness in the currency bloc eased from 9.5% to 9.4% as anticipated, GBP/EUR could extend losses.

Finally, we could see some volatility in the GBP/NZD exchange rate in the hours ahead with a dairy auction due to take place and New Zealand set to publish employment figures for the first quarter.

We’re here to talk currency whenever you need us, so get in touch if you want to know more about the latest news or how it could impact your currency transfers.
Philip McHugh

Philip McHugh

Joining the corporate trading desk in 2007, Phil now over sees all of Currencies Direct’s corporate dealing activity. Having gained experience working with hundreds of businesses to optimise international payments processes and execute comprehensive risk management strategies, Phil currently works with a portfolio of corporate clients whilst managing Currencies Direct’s overall market exposure

Phil has FCA approval and has completed the Certificate in International Treasury Management (CertiTM)

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