Sterling steadies on upbeat data
The British pound held against most major currencies on Friday, following the release of positive economic data, and shrugged off a stronger US dollar.
The UK GfK Consumer Confidence index hit -25 points in August, beating economists' forecasts of -27 points.
The Public sector net borrowing reached 35.2 billion pounds, better than forecasts of 40.6 billion.
Bank of England President Andrew Bailey said that the Brexit talks should result in a trade deal between the UK and the EU, as such an agreement is in the interest of both sides.
Bailey added "it's reasonable to think the fast pattern of the recovery over the summer is not going to continue in the same way."
As of 21:45 GMT, GBP/USD held at 1.2744, after hitting a day high of 1.2806 and a low of 1.2688.
The US dollar rose against its peers on Tuesday, attracting safe-haven demand amid concerns about the US second fiscal stimulus package. The stock market tumbled and turned lower today after President Trump decided to stop negotiation with the Democratic leaders in the US Congress about the second Covid-19 relief package. President Trump decided to postpone the ongoing stimulus talks until after the election next November. Otherwise, President Trump confirmed that his health has improved and left the Walter Reed Military Medical Center yesterday and returned to the White House after COVID-19 treatment. Earlier data showed that the US trade balance registered a deficit of $67.1 billion in August, more than forecasts of -$66.2 billion. The dollar index rose against a basket of currencies by 0.2% to 93.7 points as of 20:26 GMT, after hitting a high of 93.7 and a low of 93.3.
The US dollar fell on Monday against a basket of major currencies, to resume losses after a pause on Friday, due to improved investors sentiment, thanks to news about US President Donald Trump's health improving, ahead of key data on the US services sector. The dollar index fell 0.3% to 93.53 points, after opening at 93.81, and hit an intraday-high of 93.81. The index gained 0.1% on Friday, posting its first daily gain in 5 days, within recovery attempts from 1-week low of 93.53 points. The US dollar lost 0.8% during the past week, posting its second straight weekly loss, on slowing demand due to positive news about the second fiscal stimulus package in the US. The medical team handling Trump's case said his condition is improving and he might exit the hospital on Monday. Trump's announcement of testing positive for Covid-19 shocked the markets, with Trump now transferred to a medical center to monitor his condition. Investors are anticipating key economic data releases today on the US services sector for June, which will deliver insight on the performance of the US economy and its recovery path during the third quarter. At 14:00 GMT, the ISM services PMI is expected to rise to 56.3 points in September vs. 56.9 in August.
The US dollar rose against a basket of currencies on Wednesday, to extend gains for the fourth straight day, attracting demand as the best alternative investment, ahead of key us data releases and Fed Chair Jerome Powell's second testimony before the US congress about the coronavirus economic impact. The dollar index rose by 0.3% to the highest since July 27 at 94.25 points, after it opened at 93.99, and hit an intraday low of 93.93. The US dollar gained nearly 0.5% yesterday, and posted its third straight daily gain, buoyed by strong economic data. The greenback shined as the best alternative investment due to growing concerns over the global economy, after a surge in coronavirus infections in Europe and the US, and some countries considering re-imposing another public lockdown. The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed on Tuesday a new plan to tighten the lockdown restrictions in the UK, to halt a second wave of infections, which threatens to destroy any signs of economic recovery. Investors are anticipating key economic data releases today on the US manufacturing PMI for September, which will deliver insight on the performance of the industrial activities in the world's largest economy and its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. At 13:45 GMT, the flash manufacturing PMI reading for September will be released, with forecasts to reach 52.5 points vs. 53.1 points in August, and the flash services PMI reading is expected to reach 54.5 in September vs. 55.0 in August. At 14:00 GMT, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is due to testify before the House Select Committee about the expected economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic Powell stated before the House Financial Services Committee yesterday that uncertainty over the US economic recovery path persists, and the Fed will make more efforts if needed.