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US-China tensions weigh on risk

GBP - British Pound

Sterling ended last week on a downward trajectory against both the Euro and US dollar, with this trend continuing this morning. Markets have turned their attention to fresh US-China hostilities as US president Donald Trump and secretary of state Mike Pompeo point the finger at China for the origin of the Coronavirus. This has seen investors redirect their money towards the safe haven US dollar and with little to no economic data from the UK and Europe on Friday, the latest UK covid-19 death toll offered direction for the pound ahead of the exit strategy being outlined this week.

As of mid-afternoon 30th April, Sterling had touched 1.2605 against the US dollar and 1.1529 versus the Euro as the UK government first promised to outline the exit strategy from lockdown. Since then, the UK has seen covid-19 related deaths reached 28,446 which has led Prime Minister Boris Johnson to outline 5 tests that must be met before the restrictions can be lifted in the country with the second-highest death toll in Europe after Italy. This has weighed on the pound and the currency pairing sits at GBP/USD 1.2450 and GBP/EUR 1.1390 this morning.

UK data remains thin on the ground, so eyes will wander elsewhere for pound direction. EU economic forecasts will offer something against the Euro and updates on the latest US-China tensions will do so for the US dollar.

Key Movers

The US dollar has gained against a number of currencies since Friday as comments from the Trump administration has sparked concerns of a new trade war with China. It has been claimed that US intelligence has evidence to prove that the Corona virus is man-made and has come from a Wuhan laboratory in China - a claim that has been contested. These tension have taken hold of the headlines over the weekend, which is why we have opened this week with safe havens such as the US dollar higher against riskier assets like the Australian and New Zealand dollar. These headlines have also overshadowed the US manufacturing data on Friday, coming in better than expected, but worse than previously seen – previous 49.1, forecast 36.7 versus actual 41.5.

Expected Ranges

GBP/USD: 1.2360 - 1.2490 ▼

GBP/EUR: 1.1320 - 1.1410 ▼

GBP/AUD: 1.9320 - 1.9450 ▼

GBP/NZD: 2.0480 - 2.0650 ▼

GBP/CAD: 1.7460 - 1.7610 ▼