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Covid continues to carry concern

Covid continues to carry concern

It was a quiet day yesterday in the macro data/event calendar and so concerns over the risks from Covid-19 variants weighed heavily on the day instead. Heightened US-China tensions were also unhelpful to market conditions.

On the currency front, the action was again fairly subdued, especially compared to other markets. The most notable moves include a generally softer tone to sterling, and safe haven currencies such as the yen and dollar benefiting from the risk averse environment.

This morning, the weaker Sterling tone remains with GBP/EUR opening above 1.1550 mark and GBP/USD changing hands below $1.37. Meanwhile, EUR/USD has dipped back below the $1.18 level.

Looking ahead to today, the data diary is quiet – one of the few highlights being US housing starts for June. Once again, newsflow regarding Covid-19 and its variants could remain the centre of attention.

The UK added more than 54,000 new cases on Saturday and 47,600 on Sunday, seeing cases rising the most in the world.


Here are some highlights for the week:

  • Tuesday: Japan CPI core; RBA minutes; Swiss trade balance; Germany PPI; Eurozone current account; US housing starts and building permits.

  • Wednesday: BoJ minutes, Japan trade balance; Australia retail sales; UK public sector net borrowing; Canada new housing price index.

  • Thursday: Australia goods trade balance, NAB quarterly business confidence; ECB rate decision; US jobless claims, existing home sales.

  • Friday: Australia PMIs; UK Gfk consumer confidence, retail sales, PMIs; Eurozone PMIs; Canada retail sales; US PMIs.

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