An uneventful Monday for the pound saw the currency flatline against a basket of major rivals, with the exception of losing 0.5% to a stronger euro and dipping back below the 1.11 level.
There is little to report on the economic front, with Brexit therefore continuing to dominate sentiment. It was reported last week that Michel Barnier, the EU Chief Negotiator, was prepared to relax some of his red lines in order to ensure a deal – but only if the UK is ready to compromise. Barnier is amenable to softening his stance on fishing, although rumours regarding fishing rights have been circulating for weeks. However, the transcript of Barnier’s testimony to a committee in the House of Lords being made available on Friday has kept sterling buoyant.
It should be noted that despite unspectacular trading levels, the pound has been the second-best performing currency during July.
In early trading today, sterling has further softened against the euro and lost some ground to a feistier dollar.
GBPUSD opened at 1.2603, closing at 1.2609
GBPEUR opened at 1.1144 and closed down at 1.1091
Yesterday saw a relatively quiet session for the US dollar, with the Index closing just 0.07% lower for the day.
In the afternoon, the California Governor ordered a huge reversal of the state’s optimistic reopening, closing bars and banning indoor restaurant dining. He also shut churches, gyms and hair salons in hardest-hit counties.
Markets await retail sales data on Thursday and consumer sentiment data Friday.
The euro managed to strengthen by 0.5% across the board on Monday, despite the seeming lack of a catalyst.
Looming for the single currency this week is an EU summit beginning on Friday, at which leaders need to bridge gaps on a long-term budget. Agreement is also needed on a proposed 750 billion-euro recovery fund.
The euro has forged ahead versus sterling in early trading today, but has softened slightly against a stronger dollar.
EURUSD opened at 1.1309 and closed up at 1.1369