Bearish pressure on the Pound was eased going into the Easter weekend as the UK’s current account deficit came in better than expected at £18.44 billion, £5.5bn better than the consensus figure. There was no other positive data out of the UK on Thursday with Q4 GDP unrevised at 0.4%. Dollar buying, due to end of month flows, left both Sterling and the Euro significantly down from midweek highs against the Greenback.
Yesterday China formally announced the implementation of import tariffs on 128 kinds of US products in a move that increases uncertainty over the possibility of a global trade war. Beijing has urged the US to resolve tensions via dialogue and negotiation but any escalation from the US could be damaging to the future growth of the global economy.
This morning the UK Manufacturing PMI came in above the predicted figure of 54.7, posting 55.1 – a slight uptick from last month’s reading. Sterling saw a marginal rise against the single currency as European Manufacturing PMI matched the consensus at 55.6. Geopolitics will continue to drive the market for the remainder of the day as no other high tier data releases are expected.