Daily Currency Update

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ECB Monetary Policy Statement disappoints

GBP - British Pound

Sterling enjoyed modest gains through yesterday trading as improved global risk appetite and the news the UK government would give further details regarding its own easing of lockdown restrictions, next week, boosted the Great British Pound. With the rest of Europe already beginning to ease restrictions, the UK was running the risk of being left behind but Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has now promised to set out the government’s guidelines next week.

The news was warmly welcomed by sterling investors with GBP/USD jumping to a high of 1.2605 and GBP/EUR hitting 1.1529. Sterling gains against the Euro were also helped as the ECB Monetary policy statement disappointed investors looking for an extension to the current Quantitative easing program. Many were expecting the ECB to extended bond purchase facilities while also including junk bonds in its monthly bond buying scheme. Instead the ECB decided to lower bank lending rates but with rates already at all time lows, this did little to galvanise investor confidence.

Early trading this morning has seen sterling give up some of yesterday's gains following that the new Manufacturing PMI and Mortgage approvals have all missed target. Market Manufacturing Purchasing managers index for April posted a reading of 32.6 vs 32.8 expected, while mortgage approvals fell to 56.2K vs 60K expect.

With no further news out from the UK, it will be up to US ISM Manufacturing spending data and broader risk demand to determine today's currency moves.

Key Movers

The US dollar enjoyed mixed fortunes through trade on Thursday, advancing against risk assets while giving up gains against the euro and GBP. The euro jumped through 1.09 and 1.0950 to touch session highs at 1.0965 after the European Central Bank announced it would lower bank lending rates in bid to prompt growth amidst the COVID-19 fallout, while disappointing those investors looking for an extension in the current QE platform.

The Australian dollar edged lower overnight amidst a souring in demand for risk assets, following equities lower. Softness across a raft of macroeconomic indicators and a pessimistic outlook painted by European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde prompted markets to adopt a more conservative tone leading into month end, resulting in a broader correction across commodity led and emerging market currencies.

As mentioned, US ISM Manufacturing numbers for April is the only major piece of news remaining this week.

Expected Ranges

GBP/USD: 1.25 - 1.26 ▲

GBP/EUR: 1.1385 - 1.15 ▲

GBP/AUD: 1.94 - 1.96 ▲

GBP/NZD: 2.06 - 2.08 ▲

GBP/CAD: 1.7550 - 1.77 ▲