Roll on 5pm.....
First, just to say thank you for the numerous messages of support and wishes I received yesterday. I can report my wife remains poorly, like a bad case of flu, but seems stable. In all the years I have known her, she has never been this ill. Anti-vaxers are welcome round to my place to see what its all about. Having said that, assuming she gets no worse and remains out of hospital, and assuming of course she is indicative of the wider community, it may be reasonable to think that the 19th July reopening is not actually premature but in fact with the numbers of people now vaccinated it is time to get going again. Yes, there will continue to be cases, Javid the new Health Secretary has said Covid is here to stay and we much learn to live with it. There seems little doubt the Delta variant is behind a worrying increase in infection rates. But fingers crossed those vaccines do their job and at least keep us from the worst of it.
What a spectacular day of football yesterday. Not much point in writing too much here on it, if you like football you’re likely to have seen or at least heard about it already, if you don’t like football, well you should have watched it, it would be impossible to not find some enjoyment from it. Suffice to say there were own goals, great goals, late goals, twists and turns, ups and downs, great matches, extra time and penalty shoot-outs. Mbappe was the unfortunate player to have his penalty saved yesterday, not quite what you’d expect from a striker who cost EUR180mio.
Onto this evening where we hope the excitement continues although judging by how nervous I was as a neutral watching the France/Switzerland penalties, I would really prefer England keep their match to normal time, with the result in the right direction of course. I am hopeful that although England did not look too convincing in their group games, we must remember that Czech Republic, a team England beat, made it into the quarter finals over the weekend by beating Netherlands. Maybe, just maybe, we are better than I give them credit for. We’ll find out this evening against our old rivals Germany. A sneaky look at the next few matches shows an easier route to the final for England. I should know better than to even look but I couldn’t help it. Unfortunately the Goldman Sachs research model now has England reaching the final. That’s the kiss of death.
Finally, spare a thought for Goran Pandev, the captain of the North Macedonian team, who is retiring from international football. Pandev, born in 1983, has the rare privilege of actually being older than his country.
USD – The dollar is a touch higher, spurred on by a Covid-related drop in risk sentiment. It is a reasonably quiet day with regards to economic data, focus more on the employment numbers due at the end of the week.
EUR – EURUSD at 1.1910, the stronger dollar responsible for the small move lower but the pair remains stubbornly above 1.1900 for the time being. Not even Weidmanns slightly dovish comments on inflation could send the single currency lower. Some suggestion EU could approve a three month extension to the Northern Ireland processed meat trade issues but I have not seen anything firm yet. We do have consumer confidence numbers this morning, while Lagarde and Weidmann speak later. If dovish comments from Weidmann do little, I’m not expecting much in the way of market movement from these two today.
GBP – As I type GBPUSD is at 1.3850, not far off 100 pips lower from the high yesterday morning. Yes, the dollar is a bit stronger but I’m not sure what is putting so much pressure on GBP. The simple answer of course is Covid infection numbers, which are certainly on the increase and are likely to remain high for some time. Talk that UK passengers are not welcome in Hong Kong, plus the chance of the US/UK travel corridor being open by summer being less likely, follow Merkels comments that UK passengers should not be allowed in EU. However UK PM Johnson still seems set on a 19th July reopening and as I mentioned above, it does look as though we are going to have to get on with life and learn to live with Covid. EURGBP at 0.8590 (GBPEUR 1.1640).