Yesterday morning, UK core consumer price inflation for the month of February came out slightly better than expected which gave the Pound an early boost.
UK retail sales data this morning fell to -0.3% compared to 0.2% that was forecasted. However, this figure relates to last month before the lockdown was announced by PM Johnson, and so far has been largely ignored. The Bank of England interest rate decision is due at midday, although it is unlikely that the central bank will cut interest rates further past its current level of 0.10%. Chancellor Sunak is expected to unveil a support package to help self-employed workers during the pandemic. The Pound remains strong, recovering some of its losses against both the Euro and Dollar.
The Euro is under pressure with some EU nations including France and Italy backing the idea of issuing European debt to be shared amongst all members (‘corona-bonds’) whilst the Netherlands and Germany oppose the idea. French business confidence has dropped, and figures suggest that the French economic activity has fallen to 65% of its normal levels due to the virus.
With the Senate passing the coronavirus relief bill worth $2tn unanimously, the House of Representatives will vote on the bill tomorrow for formality sake. The Dollar has lost ground as investors look to slightly more risky assets for the time being. US unemployment claims figures and GDP is due this afternoon at 12:30pm, which is likely to cause some volatility and will help the market decide which direction the greenback will go.