Pound (GBP) Muted on Abysmal Retail Sales
The Pound (GBP) struggled to find support at the end of last week’s session after the ONS reported UK retail sales had suffered a record contraction in March.
Further limiting the appeal of Sterling at the end of last week were comments from the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, who said the progress made in Brexit trade talks so far had been disappointing.
Looking to the week ahead, with little data of note the focus for GBP investors will be on the UK government’s coronavirus timetable, and when it may consider reopening parts of the economy.
Euro (EUR) Strengthens despite Slump in German Business Morale
The Euro (EUR) ticked higher on Friday, rallying from a one-month low thanks to a pullback in the US Dollar (USD).
Tempering these gains however was a plunge in German business confidence in April, with morale sliding to an all-time low according to IFO’s monthly survey.
Meanwhile, the Euro may test new lows this week as the Eurozone’s latest GDP figures are expected to report a contraction of growth in the first quarter.
US Dollar (USD) Undermined by Plunge in Durable Goods Orders
The US Dollar (USD) was left on the defensive at the end of last week’s session as USD investors digested a shocking drop in US durable goods orders.
Order growth was reported to have plunged from 1.1% to –14.4% in March, the largest decline in over five years. The report, coupled with a sharp slide in US consumer confidence, limited demand for the US Dollar on Friday.
Coming up this week, all eyes will be on the latest US GDP figures as we finally find out just how much damage the coronavirus pandemic has done to the US economy in the first quarter.
Canadian Dollar (CAD) Steadies as Oil Extends Recovery
The Canadian Dollar (CAD) held steady on Friday, with the commodity-linked currency holding its ground as US oil prices continued to recover from their dramatic collapse earlier in the week, with WTI crude closing out the session above $17 a barrel.
Australian Dollar (AUD) Strengthened by Risk-On Mood
After losing some traction at the end of last week’s session, the Australian Dollar (AUD) opened this week’s session on a solid footing as the risk-sensitive currency was buoyed by expectations more countries will soon begin easing lockdown measures.
New Zealand Dollar (NZD) Buoyed by Coronavirus News
The New Zealand Dollar (NZD) also rose at the start of this week’s session as NZD investors were cheered by New Zealand’s claims that it has halted community transmissions of the coronavirus.