The damage is done

Today’s news headlines:

  • ‘UK retail sales worst on record as lockdown takes its toll’ – As the UK population is forced to stay at home under the current lockdown conditions, the country’s retail sector has taken a record hit. In data compiled by KPMG and the British Retail Consortium, sales were 4.3% lower when compared to March 2019, the sharpest decline since data was first captured in 1995. Meanwhile the UK government is expected to confirm an extension of the lockdown until the 7th of May, later today. (Financial Times)

  • ‘Trump says he’ll unveil reopening plans with virus hitting peak’ – The US president will later unveil his plans to relax stay-at-home rules amid signs that the coronavirus outbreak is plateauing in parts of the country. Trump will be eager to ease current measures, which have cost more than 16 million people their jobs across the country. Elsewhere, yesterday’s data revealed that US factory output declined in March by the most since 1946, whilst retail sales plunged a record 8.7%. (Bloomberg)​​​​​​​

Today's events, rates, and data 

  • Weak US economic data for March and April spurred a flight to safe haven assets yesterday and overnight, benefiting the US Dollar. Further weak employment data is expected out of the US later, meaning that UK, EU and US equity futures are all lower. The pace of new coronavirus cases globally appears to be slowing, leaving markets to assess the economic damage already caused by the pandemic.

Today's events

Euro area Industrial Production       10.00am
US Unemployment Claims               1.30pm
US Philly Fed Manufacturing Index: 1.30pm

Interbank rates:

GBPUSD: 1.2485

GBPEUR: 1.1485

EURUSD: 1.0868