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  • richard evans

Political risks could weigh on GBP

Good morning

Well here we are, the start of another week. Last week finished with little more than a whimper despite the promise of some volatility from BoE and US employment data. A strong US nonfarm payroll report pushed US yields and the dollar a bit higher but was not quite enough to make the market think very differently about the Feds possible tapering plans. Still, a headline number of +943k, average hourly earnings up 4% and an unemployment rate down to 5.4% are pretty decent numbers.

Looking at the economic calendar today, there isn’t really much on the agenda. News such as UK PM Johnson and Chancellor Sunak having a bit of a disagreement won’t do much to help GBP, with GBPUSD trading down to mid-1.38s overnight, now sitting at 1.3875, although EURGBP has briefly traded below those April lows I have been talking about recently , reaching 0.8465 (GBPEUR 1.1815). The market has shrugged off comments by Weidmann that ECB needs to tighten policy to counter inflation. Worth watching the Johnson/Sunak news, should Johnson deciode to get rid of Sunak I’d expect GBP to come under more pressure, if only because it would show Johnson as being a bit more unpredictable.

Covid remains the key topic. Although the world seems to be trying to return to some sort of normality we are all well aware that we are still very much in the middle of a pandemic. Israel, who were the quickest to get a serious vaccination plan in place, are now re-imposing restrictions as case numbers surge higher. I do note AstraZeneca are now exporting vaccines made in UK to the EU mainland which may ease tensions for a while.

I was at a wedding yesterday, the first time I have been in a room with so many people for a very long time. It was very enjoyable and I must say it was very easy to forget for a while that there was a pandemic going on. And I guess that is exactly where the problem lies. We all have the best of intentions but after a couple of glasses of wine it is just business as usual. Mind you we had all been asked to take a couple of lateral flow tests in the days leading up to the wedding, and as it turned out several of the brides family couldn’t attend as they had tested positive. Assuming every guest had done their tests as requested then one hopes the risk of infection was low. Mind you with the wedding in central London most people had travelled on some form of public transport to get there. It will be interesting to see whether eighty or so phones will ‘ping’ in the coming days.

The Olympics has come to an end. I have to say I was sceptical about whether the even would take place and certainly whether it would get through to the end. As it turns out they seem to have done a pretty good job and I have enjoyed watching many of the lesser known events which until now I had thought were more like hobbies than competitive sports. Whether the likes of skateboarding should really be Olympic events is still up for some debate but for a couple of weeks it kept me entertained. Now onto the serious stuff, like where Harry Kane will be playing this coming season……

- 13.15 CAD housing starts

- 15.00 US JOLTS job openings

- 00.01 UK BRC retail sales

- 00.50 Japan current account

- 02.30 AUS NAB business confidence

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