The Pound US Dollar (GBP/USD) has been mixed for much of the day as US retail sales rebounded sharply during March, at the time of writing the GBP/USD pairing is trading at around $1.3794.
Pound (GBP) Mixed as Coronavirus Variant Concerns Reignite
The Pound could find little support today as coronavirus concerns crept in, however this afternoon the currency has found itself heading higher against the US Dollar (USD).
Although the latest coronavirus data shows that all local coronavirus case rates across the UK have dropped below 100 cases in 100,000 people for the first time in seven months, the Pound has struggled to find any headway.
As an increase in the South African variant of the virus has caused some concerns for Pound investors.
Professor Kevin Fenton, PHE’s regional director in London, spoke to UK radio commenting on the variant saying that the case numbers were low, and the UK’s surge testing was successful.
Investors worry that if the cases cannot be contained and run rampant then England’s lockdown easing plans could be delayed and cause the Pound to dip.
US Dollar (USD) Falls Despite Rebound in US Retail Sales
The US Dollar is down this afternoon despite positive retail sales figures from the US for March.
Retail sales in the US jumped up 9.8% beating forecasts of 4.5%, as reported by the US Census Bureau:
‘Figures easily beat market forecasts of a 5.9% gain as more businesses reopened, the $1,400 checks were sent starting in mid-March and better weather during the month after unusually cold temperatures and winter storms in Texas and some other parts of the South region in February.’
The most recent initial jobless claims from the US from the week ending 10 April which beat forecasts and fell to 576k showing a sustained recovery in the US economy from the coronavirus pandemic did little to support the US Dollar however.
The positive data from the US has supported the risk-on mood today as the global economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic becomes exceedingly real.
Pound US Dollar Exchange Rate Outlook: Coronavirus Developments in Focus
In absence of any notable data, Pound investors will keep an eye on any further coronavirus developments in the coming days.
As reports come in that those over 30 will be able to book their coronavirus vaccines as early as May, investors will hope that this means the UK’s economic reopening will not be delayed.
For US Dollar traders the Michigan consumer sentiment index could see the currency heading higher if it meets forecasts of 89.1.
Also for US Dollar investors, heading into the weekend the global market mood will continue to dictate movement in the exchange rates.
A continuing risk-on mood could see the US Dollar heading lower against many of its counterparts.