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Too soon to tell

Today’s news headlines:

‘Boris Johnson warns it is ‘too early’ to predict when lockdown will end’. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned the country that the current lockdown is not guaranteed to end in the spring, whilst scientific advisers said that it would be unwise to consider reopening pubs and restaurants until May. The PM has told colleagues that he wants to make sure that this is the UK’s last lockdown, after experts modelled that lifting lockdown measures in April could lead to a ‘huge wave of infections’ and deaths depending on the effectiveness of the vaccine. (Financial Times)

‘Biden warns Covid deaths will top 500,000 next month’. Joe Biden delivered a stark warning to the American people that his administration was trying but would not be able to dramatically accelerate the pace of coronavirus vaccinations. The President’s realistic assessment of the situation was in stark contrast to his predecessor, Donald Trump, who constantly said that the US was on the verge of defeating the pandemic. Meanwhile, Mr Biden moved to invoke the Korean war-era Defense Production Act, which will force companies to produce items that are in short supply, including masks, syringes and materials for coronavirus testing kits. (Financial Times)

Today's events, rates, and data 

  • A little bit of market optimism has dissipated overnight, with the Dollar moving higher against its trading peers following a dip at the back end of yesterday’s trading session for the US equity markets. Comments from the UK PM and US President will also hamper risk sentiment heading into today’s session with US and European equity index futures currently posting small declines.

Today's events

UK Gfk Consumer Confidence: -28 vs -26 previously
UK Retail Sales: 0.3% vs -4.1% previously
French Flash Services & Manufacturing PMI: 8.15am
German Flash Services & Manufacturing PMI: 8.30am
Eurozone Flash Services & Manufacturing PMI: 9.00am
UK Flash Services & Manufacturing PMI: 9.30am
Canada Retail & Core Retail Sales: 1.30pm
US Flash Services & Manufacturing PMI: 2.45pm

Interbank rates

GBP/USD: 1.3665
GBP/EUR: 1.1240
EUR/USD: 1.2155
USD/CAD: 1.2685