Today's news headlines:
‘UK consumer confidence rises to highest level since start of lockdowns’. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak pledged to provide another wave of support for the UK economy as the country emerges from its third national lockdown. This, coupled with the impressive performance of the vaccine rollout, has boosted the consumer outlook on spending, and hopes of a faster-than-expected recovery. The Gfk Consumer Confidence index rose to -16 in March from -23 in February. Although still in pessimistic territory, this change in the levels of confidence can only be a positive sign as more restrictions are eased and the public becomes more willing to spend. (Financial Times)
‘EU countries to restart use of “safe and effective” AstraZeneca vaccine’. After finding no causal link between the vaccine and the adverse side effects that were reported, the EU drugs regulator has encouraged countries to begin re-administering the AstraZeneca jab. With an already sluggish rollout programme in the EU, this has been yet another roadblock to increasing the rate of vaccinations week-on-week. The UK continues to pull away, with 40 per 100 people vaccinated, in comparison to the EU’s 11.8 per 100. (Financial Times)
Today's events, rates, and data
The S&P 500 fell 1.5% yesterday as a technology-led sell-off hampered market sentiment, with the Nasdaq falling 3%. Sterling has not shown much sign of weakening this morning after the announcement of potential vaccine supply issues facing the UK in early April. The Pound has consolidated levels around $1.3950 against the Dollar and €1.1690 against the Euro.
UK Gfk Consumer Confidence: -16 vs -23 last month
Japan BOJ Policy Rate: -0.1% unchanged
German PPI m/m: 0.7% vs 1.4% last month
Canada Retail and Core Retail Sales m/m: 12:30pm
MPC Member Jon Cunliffe Speaks: 1:00pm
The markets are moving. To speak to our team, please call +44 (0)20 3465 8200.