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Will the Sterling lose some shine this week?

Time to turn your attention to the GBP.

This week is a monster week for the UK, with several very important reports set to be released. The most important reports to watch out for are the Claimant Count Rate, Gfk’s Consumer Confidence, and Retail Sales. The reports are delivered all throughout the week, so it will be a laborious week for the currency.

The GBP strengthened against the EUR and the USD at the end of last week. Will we see profit-taking before the reports begin dropping?

Read the full report at

UK reports this week

GBP/USD falls on a key support after 10 day streak

GBP/USD falls to 1.2563 on the back of relative strength over the past 2 weeks. General risk sentiment fueled the rally. However, fears of a second wave abruptly stopped the rally.

With the recent safe haven characteristics, the USD has been exhibiting over the past, it is not surprising that the USD has been strengthening across the board. Pair this with little substantial news on Brexit, and the drop in the GBP/USD is substantiated.

Strength in the USD also came from Retail consumer data from the commerce department posting record numbers, jumping 17.7% in May – with analysts originally forecasting an 8.5% increase. This shows that the backbone of the US economy, the consumer, is again providing optimism for the US markets.

This is on the back of Jerome Powell testifying to congress that the US government will likely need to spend more money to ensure the US can reach a full economic recovery. However, he maintained a cautious stance about the economy. This may be advantageous for Trump, as he may quote Powell for being supportive of an $1 Trillion Infrastructure bill the President is trying to pass through congress.

GBP/USD may still be under pressure due to Brexit and second wave fears

Weakness in the GBP may be attributed to Brexit talks progressing slowly, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying that the EU and the UK were “not far apart” relating to the country and the Unions relationship. The Brexit saga has been ongoing since 2016, and has pushed the GBP/USD has been ranking lower since the announcement.

Traders should watch the key psychological 1.255 level, as it may provide an entry point for a reversal.

Pound Shrugs Off Consumer Confidence Data

UK Consumer Confidence was unchanged from its 12 year low, according to a survey by polling firm GfK done for the first two weeks of April. After last month’s figure of -34, the lowest it had been since February 2009, the number figure remained the same  as UK citizens await the end of the lockdown.

Consumer confidence data is a measure of peoples’ willingness to make major purchases. The lowest figure ever recorded for UK consumer confidence was -39, a figure reached during 2008, during the global financial crisis. The current figure is obviously due to the inability for consumers to make purchases beyond necessities, but it is also due to the fears surrounding the current economic climate and the loss of jobs.

Despite this news, the Pound remained steady for the day’s trading, currently at 1.2350 for the Asian trading session. On the technical side, it fell through the 1.2460 support level from when we last looked at the Pound, and is now looking to trade between 1.2380 and 1.2280.

The lack of any major movement from the Pound is most likely due to the lack of change in the consumer confidence figure, even though it continues to be the largest ever decline. In March consumer confidence had dropped by a stunning 27 points. As for this month's data, analysts at GfK are still hesitant to say whether or not this figure is now stabilised due to consumers becoming adjusted to their lockdown lives, or if further lows are possible.

Investors trading the GBP/USD pair, as well as other Pound currency pairs, are most likely also waiting for the UK Retail Sales report for March, which is due later today.

UPDATE: the UK Retail Sales data has just been released, with a fall of -5.1% for the month of March. This figure exceeded predictions of -4.0%. The Pound has reacted by moving back towards a low of 1.2300. It is currently at 1.2325 against the US Dollar and looking to trade lower.

We are continuing to stream live on YouTube every day 10.00 am GMT. Today’s stream will most likely include the data from the Retail Sales report, and the subsequent movements on the Pound. Come join us and ask us any questions you may have. If you missed our last stream, you can watch the recording below:

GBP/USD Ends Month High Gains

GBP/USD, which had been steadily making sharp moves to the upside in recent days, has now broken that streak to trade lower, with a modest decrease of 0.17% from the previous day’s trading session, now down to 1.2604. If the pair is to continue moving lower, it will meet support at the 1.2460 level.

Prior to this the Pound/Dollar pair had been trading at a four week high, reaching 1.2629 Pounds against the US Dollar. These fresh highs came after it was revealed that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had left intensive care in hospital and was back at home. However, while this news was initially positive to investors, the revelation that he was not yet fully recovered and would not be back at work for at least another week has cast doubts on the Pound once more.

Expectations for the UK economy have also been tempered by UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak admitting that they would be facing tough times economically. The Office for Budget Responsibility, an independent branch of the government used to provide economic forecasts, has said that the UK could face up to 2 million job losses, resulting in a 35% loss in Great Britain’s GDP. However, while Sunak admitted that these figures were troubling, he was still positive that the UK economy can recover “quickly and strongly” after the crisis is over.

In the UK, deaths caused by the coronavirus have now risen to over 12,000, even as the country continues its lockdown. Looking ahead, there are still the Brexit talks scheduled between the UK negotiators and the EU. The negotiations had been halted by the coronavirus, but are now set to resume tomorrow.

Of course, the Dollar has also been weaker in recent days particularly against the European currencies. On the Dollar Index (DXY), the greenback dropped 0.35%, falling below 100 points.

US President Donald Trump has suspended funding to the World Health Organisation, citing accusations of the organisation taking China’s words during the initial outbreak of the pandemic at face value, and blaming them for the spread of the virus. So far the US has given the WHO $893 million in funding, accounting for nearly 15% of the organisation’s funds.

In last night’s livestream, we talked about GBP/USD, as well as the recent highs in Gold, which you can watch below. Join us again tonight at our usual time, 10.00 am GMT.

Pound, Yen Both Poised to Drop

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has now been placed in intensive care, following an admittance to hospital just a few days prior. For now his duties have been taken over by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab. While a spokesperson from 10 Downing Street has said that Johnson was moved due to his condition worsening, they also stressed that he was still conscious and the move to an intensive care unit was more of a precaution in case he needed a ventilator.

This news is undoubtedly weighing heavily on traders as the GBP/USD had an immediate reaction, temporarily dropping down to a low of £1.219 against the US Dollar. Therefore it is also very likely to see the Pound continue to drop, depending on Johnson’s condition in the upcoming days.

The GBP/USD pair was stuck in a tight range of 1.2460 - 1.2350, but has finally violated this range on the lower side. It's now driving selling bias in the GBP/USD pair and may lead it's prices further lower towards the next support level of 1.2133. - Anish Lal, BlackBull Markets.

The Yen’s reputation as a safe haven currency is also under threat, as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced that he will declare a state of emergency in Tokyo, as well as six other prefectures in Japan, in order to stem the outbreak of coronavirus in their country. This news most likely comes as the result of Tokyo and Osaka gaining an increasing number of new infections which cannot be traced.

In an article last week I commented on how there was a sudden rise in cases in Japan following the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and now that figure seems to have risen alarmingly again. For months Japan has had limited COVID-19 cases, avoiding the same situation that other countries have faced. But now the number of cases in the country have crossed 3,500, with 73 deaths.

Last week it also seemed that Japan was unwilling to enter lockdown, just as it had been unwilling to postpone the Olympics. Despite growing sentiment from both the public, as well as from senior health officials that major cities should enter lockdown in order to prevent the spread of the virus, Abe had stated that Japan would not enter a state of emergency just yet, even as he acknowledged that the situation would soon mirror Europe’s if they didn’t.

I also stated that the Yen’s status as a safe haven would be short lived if Japan were to enact such measures, and it seems now that could be the case more than ever, as the USD/JPY pair has moved up recently, with the Yen losing strength against the greenback. The Yen rose to 109.18 against the Dollar in the previous trading session, but is now back at 108.88, with Abe promising that an 108 trillion Yen economic stimulus package would be delivered to the Japanese economy. This is the equivalent of almost $1 trillion USD. This figure, roughly equal to 20% of Japan's economic output, was larger than expected and was enough to ease investors' worries, at least slightly for the time being.

Watch our live stream every day on YouTube at 10.00am GMT. We also upload the recordings onto our channel, the latest of which you can watch here:

GBP/USD Hits 6-Month Low Following £300 Billion Loan Announcement

The British Pound fell to its lowest level since September 2019, hitting 1.20150 against the US Dollar, but managed to recover above the 1.2100 threshold after a new package was announced by the UK government.

In one of his first moves since becoming Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak announced that the UK government would be giving away £330 billion of loans to businesses, in order for them to offset the income loss from the impacts of the coronavirus. This comes just one week after the March 2020 Budget, which already included a £30 billion package, £12 billion of which was allocated to fighting the economic impact of the coronavirus.

However, the Labour party has criticized the move as not being enough for workers and renters, as it only covers businesses, and does not cover employees who are being laid off and losing their incomes. While Sunak has promised a separate package for workers, he had nothing further to say about it in today’s address.

Workers who are still employed will receive the benefits from the business loans, but those who are laid off, cannot work due to being sick, or who work shifts/gigs will suffer heavily. There is also nothing in terms of easing rent and utilities.

In a news conference yesterday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged all UK citizens to avoid all non-essential contact with others, and all non-essential travel. He also advised people to not go to public places such as pubs and restaurants, but stopped short of actually ordering them to close down.

As the number of deaths in the UK are now at 67, with the number of cases rising to 1950. However, the actual number of cases is estimated to be anywhere from 35,000 to 50,000. This is a stark increase from just two days ago, when there were only 35 deaths. These rapid increases have caused the public, concerned that the UK is headed for a similar trajectory as Italy, to criticise the current measures as not being enough.

Italy rapidly became the centre of the worst epidemic in Europe, with over 31,000 confirmed cases, and over 2,500 deaths. The number of cases exploded due to the fact that medical services were unable to handle the large number of initial cases, as well as the fact that a large percentage of Italy's population are aging.

Citizens are pleading for Britain to do the same as Italy, which quarantined the entire country and closed all shops except for supermarkets and pharmacies, as well as a ban on public gatherings and travel restrictions.

For more information, watch our video by Anish Lal here at BlackBull Markets, or on Instagram and Twitter at blackbull_markets and @blackbullforex, respectively.

Pound Suffers 4th Consecutive Day of Loss

For the 4th day in a row, the British Pound has been on the downside. Following the pattern of practically every market, including stocks, currencies, and commodities, the GBP slid down to fresh lows, dropping all the way down to $1.2518 against the US Dollar.

Interestingly enough, the USD has actually strengthened, as one of the few markets going up in current times, while gold, the traditional safe haven asset, has gone down instead. One of the reasons for this is that people are liquidating gold in order to pay off margin calls for other trades, which is also resulting in it being converted to dollars instead. As well as this, the Dollar is also still generating interest, while gold does not. These reasons are why the yellow metal has gone down, reversing earlier gains and defying predictions that it would continue to rally.

In the UK, the death toll from the coronavirus has hit 10, with just under 600 confirmed cases. However, officials are warning that the actual number of infections could be anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000.

Newly appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has already had a rough first month on the job as he has had to contend with the coronavirus. He is expected not to proceed with the previously announced tax hike in light of the current crisis.

Meanwhile Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced new measures, as the government now moves to the 'delay' phase of combatting the coronavirus. However, these measures do not include the shutting down of schools, or banning of public gatherings. While Johnson argued that it was crucial to get the timing right for stricter measures, some have viewed these current moves as not enough.

While Ireland has closed schools and other public facilities, Scotland has restricted mass gatherings, and the US has suspended all major sport and Broadway performances, Britain seems to be trying to keep things as normal as possible for the time being. Officials in Britain are arguing that people could tire of such measures after a few weeks. Instead, amongst the soft measures introduced are that those with a continuous cough are only being asked to self-isolate for 7 days, schools are only being advised to cancel trips abroad, and people over 70 and those with illnesses not to go on cruises.

Some experts have cited Italy, a close neighbour, as evidence of how quickly the virus can spread. Italy very quickly became the country outside of China with the largest number of deaths, causing the entire country to come under lockdown.

The United Kingdom is also currently exempt from the 30-day travel ban announced by US President Donald Trump yesterday, which included all other European countries.  As the UK is no longer part of the European Union, they were not affected by the announcement.

Today’s analysis on the GBP/USD features both Anish Lal and Philip van den Berg here at BlackBull Markets, who gave a detailed analysis on the technical movements of the Pound, as well as the factors surrounding its drop. You can watch the video below, or on Instagram and Twitter at blackbull_markets and @blackbullforex, respectively.

GBP Falls as Britain Prepares For Coronavirus Outbreak

The British Pound fell today against the US Dollar, leading to a drop below the 1.28 mark. After just barely breaking the 1.30 level over the past few days, it has now rapidly tumbled back down and passed the support level at 1.28, leading to a yearly low.

It seems that the GBP is the latest currency to face pressure against mounting fears of the coronavirus, as the number of cases in the UK have now risen to 40, mostly from infected individuals arriving in from Italy. While Britain seems to be largely spared from the increasing spread of the epidemic, the number of cases increasing in neighbouring European countries seems to have people preparing for the worst. The largest number of cases is still in Italy, with over 2000 infected and 52 deaths. This is a shocking increase of 20% infected from just the previous day.

The UK government is preparing for a worst case scenario as well, with health officials warning that the country can expect widespread infection fairly soon, with contact spreading expected to have already begun as well.  When interviewed, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the country should prepare for “very significant expansion”, but also praised the National Health Service, saying that they were prepared and had the ability to conduct large scale virus testing.

20 schools across the country have shut down over coronavirus concerns, and now supermarkets are preparing for panic buying with additional stockpiles.

After seeing how the US stock market reacted to the coronavirus, with the Dow Jones dropping more than 1000 points in a single trading day, a loss of more than 10%, the Bank of England has promised to take action to prevent the same thing happening to the UK economy.

In tandem with other global stocks last week, the FTSE 100, or footsie also went down when a global sell-off caused markets to have their steepest falls since the 2008 recession.

For more information, watch our video by Anish Lal here at BlackBull Markets, and follow us on Instagram and Twitter at blackbull_markets and @blackbullforex, respectively.

GBP Spikes Following Bank of England’s Rate Decision

The Bank of England decided today to hold UK interest rates at 0.75%, following a meeting made by the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).

Investors were scrambling to sell off the GBP before the decision was made, causing it to drop below 1.30 to 1.29770. But immediately after the vote came in at 7 for and 2 against to maintain the current rate, the Pound spiked to a high of 1.31096 against the USD.

This movement was influenced by the vote of confidence in the UK economy, represented by both a strong majority in the vote, as well as Governor Mark Carney’s subsequent statements. Carney expressed optimism in the UK economy, despite Brexit drawing ever closer.

It is possible that Carney wants to portray a strong vote of confidence for the economy from the Bank as he prepares to hand over the role to his successor Andrew Bailey. However, this could also end up posing a problem for Bailey, as economists speculate that the recent drop in oil prices could cause the Bank of England to miss its 1% inflation target.

This decision comes as somewhat of a surprise, considering recent global and domestic developments, and the fact that the MPC has been split on rates since November. These factors caused a strong prediction for the Bank to lower the rate, resulting in the initial drop.

While the rate has been voted to remain unchanged, the MPC said that they were ready to cut rates if necessary, stating that they would be closely monitoring whether or not an improvement in business sentiment regarding Brexit would lead to economic growth.

Our head of FX and Metals here at BlackBull Markets, Anish Lal had this to say about the GBP:

“The Pound following a range bound start to 2020 experienced it's most volatile trading session thus far. Traders were left in the dark prior to the Bank of England interest rate decision, with a 45% chance of a rate cut from the current 0.75% base rate amid a potential economic slowdown post Brexit, and this initial panic caused the GBP/USD to move and reject a key area of support at the 1.2970 mark. Following a sharp rejection of this area, the news release shortly after revealed a confident rate hold, with MPC members voting 7-2, perhaps a hawkish surprise for investors, with Governor Mark Carney seeming calm and citing a stable economic environment.”

For further analysis, check out our Trade in 60 seconds here, or on Instagram at blackbull_markets.

Sources: The Guardian

The trend of GDPUSD

The US dollar and the pound were steady on Wednesday, and EU leaders are considering a request for a postponement of the Brexit, which is expected to extend the October 31 deadline by three months.

European Council President Tusk said on Twitter late Tuesday that he has suggested that EU leaders support the postponement of voting. British Prime Minister Johnson was forced by the parliament to extend for three months. However, some EU countries, especially France, may still require shorter deadlines. Johnson called the European Council President Tusk this morning to inform Tusk that he opposed the extension of Brexit and still hopes to leave the EU on October 31. The parliament will vote on the extension of Brexit and the parliament will hand over control to the EU.

EU officials recently stated that the EU will not decide on the extension of Brexit today. And then the decision may be made on Friday. Earlier, the British parliament made a dramatic vote on Tuesday, accepting the agreement in principle, but vetoed a three-day timetable for passing the necessary legislation. After the pound fell against the dollar and the euro on Tuesday, foreign exchange trading was generally calm. Today, the pound/dollar rose, hitting a high of 1.29115. The US dollar index also rose slightly, hitting a high of 97.66 in the day.

Johnson had previously threatened that if the parliament did not agree with his timetable, he would cancel the agreement, but he did not honour the threat. The market believes that this almost eliminates the possibility of no agreement to leave the European Union. Earlier Wednesday, the uncertainty of Brexit boosted safe-haven currencies. However, after the outside world believes that the EU may approve the extension, the rise of the yen and the Swiss franc will fade. The yen fell slightly to 108.55 against the US dollar and 0.991 against the Swiss franc.