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Pound tumbles on abysmal retail sales figures

currency-newsPound tumbles on abysmal retail sales figures
The pound plunged at the end of last week’s session as GBP investors were dismayed by some lacklustre UK data.

Meanwhile, Sterling is off to a poor start this week, with GBP/EUR muted at €1.1880 and GBP/USD plunging to $1.2752. GBP/CAD has tumbled to C$1.6232, while GBP/AUD firms to AU$1.7784 and GBP/NZD retreats to NZ$1.9306.

Looking ahead, will UK political uncertainty see the pound extend this sell-off today?

What’s been happening?

The pound suffered a sharp sell-off on Friday morning, following the release of weaker-than-expected UK retail sales and PMI releases.

A surprisingly large slump in sales growth proved particularly damaging for Sterling as it raised concerns the UK is heading for a period of weak consumer spending.

The pound then consolidated its losses in the wake of comments from Bank of England (BoE) Governor Andrew Bailey as he warned weaker spending will lead to a slowdown in UK growth.

Positive Eurozone PMIs, meanwhile, allowed the euro to trend broadly higher at the end of last week, although the single currency’s gains were kept in check by USD strength.

This uptick in the US dollar came in spite of underwhelming US S&P PMIs, with the ‘greenback’ instead finding support from rising US Treasury yields and a risk-off mood.

What’s coming up?

Turning to this week, the result of the French election is likely to bolster the euro after pro-EU incumbent Emmanuel Macron was able to claim victory.

Elsewhere the focus for EUR investors is likely to be on Germany’s latest IFO business climate index. April’s figures are expected to report another deterioration of business sentiment, which could limit the euro’s gains this morning.

The pound could face an uphill battle at the start of this week amidst reports of a potential plot to oust Boris Johnson from senior Tories.

Finally in the absence of any notable US economic data, the direction of the US dollar at the start of this week is likely to be determined by market sentiment, with a prevailing risk-off mood likely to bolster USD demand.
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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