Covid or gardening, which hurts more?
Something of an interesting weekend in the Evans household. Three out of the five of us tested positive for Covid-19, only myself and my eldest son have so far managed to stay away from the virus so far. Two youngest kids had mild effects but seem to be OK now, some loss of taste and smell but otherwise on the mend. My wife however has had it pretty rough and continues to do so. She started seeing symptoms the evening of her second jab, as did I and many others, so she presumed it was some sort of side-effect. Only when my daughter seemed a bit ill did they get properly tested and both were positive. I, along with the two boys then went to get PCR tests, the younger one was also positive.
It is a bit strange. To begin with I was quite nonchalant, but seeing my wife quite ill for a few days has really made me realise how serious this virus can be. My wife is confined to bed, the two younger kids are confined to their rooms or the garden, while me and my eldest have ju7st about managed through the weekend by watching football, cricket, F1 and rugby.
I have also spent quite a lot of time in the garden, mowing, strimming, cutting hedges, weeding, moving some earth. Rain was forecast, so I’d only planned to go out before it started raining, but it never came so I just carried on. As you can imagine I’m pretty tired today, my wife lies in bed complaining of feeling tired and aching all over. Not sure I should mention that I’m sure I am aching just as much as she is.
USD – Some mixed comments from Fed officials, Rosengren came across on the hawkish side while Kashkari was less optimistic. None of it really changes the message we got from the Fed recently, inflation is higher than has been forecast but still regarded as transitory, although quite how long that transitory idea lasts remains to be seen. Possible rate rises have been brought closer but remain a fair way off, while talk will begin on reducing asset purchases which could well begin later this year.
EUR – EURUSD at 1.1935, if that sounds familiar it is where it was for much of last week. Support comes in around 1.1920 while 1.1980 all the way to 1.20 is likely to offer resistance. French regional elections have not gone well for Macron nor Le Pen, with both losing out amid low vote turnout. Meanwhile Merkel is looking at banning all UK travellers from entering EU due to the fast spreading Delta variant, I’d imagine they would be eager to keep EU countries as clean as possible ahead of the summer if there is any hope of holidays taking place.
GBP – GBP has had a reasonable start to the week, GBPUSD pushing up from its overnight lows around 1.3875 to 1.3935. Obviously the weekend press was full of Hancock’s indiscretions and his subsequent resignation, replaced by Sajid Javid. I wonder if it was a difficult decision to take on the job of Health Secretary. There doesn’t seem a great deal of upside in it particularly as Javid arrives a tough too late to take credit for the vaccine program. It’s all downhill from here! EURGBP seems to be settled under 0.8600 (GBPEUR 1.1630) and does appear to have been making lower lows through June, but still some way off the April lows of 0.8470 (1.1805).
AUD – AUD holds up well despite Sydney going into lockdown over rising Covid infections. We are not talking huge numbers, 128 I believe at the last count, but we know how quickly the Delta variant ca spread and it is regarded as a critical moment if further cases are to be contained. I think the worry with Australia is that they have so far handled it so well I don’t think their vaccination numbers are particularly high, partly due to the AstraZeneca vaccine being snubbed over possible blood clot issues.