IFX Market Report: Wednesday 29th April 2020

The pound started yesterday on the front foot, rising in value to a 1.5-week high with an increase in risk appetite. However, by the close those gains had been pared and the currency continues to appear stuck in a tight trading range against its competitors.

Sterling was largely kept in check after the CBI said that UK retailers suffered their biggest fall in sales since the 2008 financial crisis in the first half of April. Furthermore, officials are showing no signs of easing lockdown restrictions following the lowest daily death toll for four weeks, stating that caution is still required.

The pound has softened versus the euro in early trading today, with no economic data due to be released.

GBPUSD opened at 1.2460 and receded during the day to close at 1.2428

GBPEUR opened at 1.1487 and was little changed, closing at 1.1473

The US dollar has eased slightly this morning, ahead of the release of FOMC minutes later today. Investors will be watching to see if the Fed gives any clues on its likely future path, having already led the way with its program of slashing interest rates, resuming bond-buying and backstopping credit markets during the current crisis.

Month-end rebalancing has also been slightly negative for the greenback and the dollar index fell 0.15% yesterday to 99.94.

Today, ahead of the FOMC release, quarterly GDP numbers will be published, with consensus forecasts being for a contraction of around 4%.

The euro has seen little movement ahead of tomorrow’s ECB meeting and amid a lack of data this week. The single currency has been trading in a tight range for some time and investors are hoping for a strong response from the central bank to the economic challenges posed by the pandemic.

EURUSD opened at 1.0847 and closed at 1.0832

In other news, Australian Consumer Price Index quarterly data overnight came in as expected at 0.3%.

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