|Day's Range||1.104 - 1.113|
|52 Week Range||1.0526 - 1.2078|
The IHS Markit/CIPS flash U.K. composite purchasing managers index rose in May to a reading of 28.9 from 13.8 in April. Manufacturing PMI rose to 40.6 from 32.6 while services PMI rose to 27.8 from 13.4. Any reading below 50 indicates deteriorating conditions. "The minor easing in the downturn compared to last month's figures only serves to highlight the depth of the fall in April's output and does not signal that the pathway is clear for an improvement in the manufacturing and services sectors," said Duncan Brock, group director at CIPS.
U.K. stocks gave back earlier gains and the pound slipped on Friday as Brexit concerns and U.S.-China trade tensions resurfaced.
The British pound fell vs. the dollar and the euro as its lead negotiator, David Frost, said "very little progress" was made in Brexit talks with the European Union's Michel Barnier. He said it was hard to understand why the EU was insisting on an "ideological" approach as he said the EU wanted to bind the U.K. to its laws and standards. The next round of talks will be on June 1.
U.K. GDP fell 2% in the first quarter, the Office for National Statistics said, which was the worst performance since the financial crisis in 2008. The 2% decline did however beat economist estimates for a 2.6% drop. In March in particular, the U.K. economy contracted by 5.8%. "With the arrival of the pandemic nearly every aspect of the economy was hit in March, dragging growth to a record monthly fall," said Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician for economic statistics.
U.K. retail sales skidded 5.8% in the 12 months ending March, in the worst ever fall as many stores stopped trading on March 23 due to the lockdown from the pandemic outbreak, the Office for National Statistics said Friday. Food stores and non-store retailing were the only sectors to show growth. Online sales as a proportion of all retailing reached a record high of 22.3%.
The British pound recovered and U.K. stocks rose Tuesday, as concern over the hospitalization of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was offset by broader optimism the coronavirus crisis was slowing.
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tweeted that he has tested positive for coronavirus. "Over the last 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus. I am now self-isolating, but I will continue to lead the government's response via video-conference as we fight this virus," he said.
The Bank of England voted unanimously to keep interest rates at 0.1% and maintain its £200 billion program of buying UK government bond and sterling non-financial investment-grade corporate bond purchases. "Regarding the impact of asset purchases, gilt yields fell significantly following the previous week's special MPC meeting and the commencement of additional gilt purchase operations from 20 March. If needed, the MPC can expand asset purchases further," the central bank said.
The flash U.K. composite purchasing managers index fell in March to a survey low of 37.1 from 53 in February, according to the latest data from IHS Markit/CIPS. Any reading below 50 indicates deteriorating conditions. The services index plunged to a record low 35.7 from 53.2. "Historical comparisons indicate that the March survey reading is consistent with GDP falling at a quarterly rate of 1.5-2.0%, a decline which is sufficiently large to push the economy into a contraction in the first quarter. However, this decline will likely be the tip of the iceberg and dwarfed by what we will see in the second quarter as further virus containment measures take their toll and the downturn escalates," said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit.
Investing.com - The U.S. dollar has been in demand Tuesday, rebounding from Monday’s losses, as other central banks look to follow the aggressive easing stance recently taken by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
The extraordinary events in financial markets on Wednesday saw the Bank of England surprise markets with a half percentage point interest rate cut — and the yield on U.K. bonds rise.
U.K. Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced fiscal stimulus measures he valued at £30 billion ($39 billion), which he said was one of the largest responses in the world. Sunak outlined temporary measures including targeted tax cuts and backstopping loans toward small businesses. Sunak said his fiscal stimulus measures were coordinated with the Bank of England, which earlier cut interest rates by a half-percentage point alongside other measures. The yield on the 10-year gilt rose 5 basis points to 0.30%.
U.S. stocks fluctuated between gains and losses as investors struggled to square up terms of a phase one trade deal as described separately by Chinese and U.S. officials. The Dow swung between an as much as 158 point gain and 60 point loss during Friday’s session.
Investing.com -- The pound hit its highest level against the euro in over two years on Wednesday on increasing confidence that the general election on Dec. 12th will return the Conservative Party to power with a healthy majority. It also hit a six-month high against the dollar
Investing.com -- Saudi Arabia bows to the inevitable and scales down the Aramco IPO - but it could still be the world's biggest ever. Hong Kong's stock market defies the most violent clashes yet between police and students. HP rejects Xerox's bid, and sterling surges after weekend opinion polls show Boris Johnson's Conservatives on track to win a majority in parliament and break the Brexit deadlock. Here's what you need to know in financial markets on Monday, 18th November.
Investing.com -- The British pound was stuck at the lower end of its recent ranges in early trading Friday amid fresh confusion over the course of Brexit, after opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn refused to accept Prime Minister Boris Johnson's call for a general election in December.
Investing.com -- The British pound edged down in early trading in Europe on Monday after an anti-climactic weekend in London that saw the moment of truth fo Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal with the EU ‘s pushed back once again.
Investing.com -- The British pound consolidated gains early Friday after its biggest one-day jump in two years in response to signs of a possible agreement on the Irish border problem that has plagued the Brexit negotiations.
Investing.com -- The British pound headed lower again in early trade on Tuesday after a warning that a Hard Brexit could deliver a 100-billion pound blow to public finances.
Investing.com -- The British pound fell to its lowest in more than two years in early trading in Europe Wednesday as fears over a “Hard Brexit” and a possible general election exacted a higher risk premium for all sterling assets.