The new normal

Today’s news headlines:

  • ‘Government prepares blueprint for UK’s ‘safe’ return to work’ – As more and more businesses demand clarity on the UK’s coronavirus exit strategy, the government is preparing a series of papers on how the economy can start to reopen once Boris Johnson orders an easing of the lockdown. Officials say that the papers will advise businesses to restrict face-to-face working and the use of communal spaces. Meanwhile, Johnson yesterday told the British public that the average rate of infection had fallen below 1, signaling that the country is past the peak of infections. (Financial Times)

  • ‘Eurozone economy shrinks by fastest rate on record’ – The Eurozone’s first quarter GDP came in at minus 3.8% due to widespread measures to control the spread of coronavirus which led to a freeze in household and business activity. The decline in growth was worse than the peak of the financial crisis and will likely add pressure on the ECB to step up measures to protect the Eurozone economy from the long-lasting effects of the pandemic. (Financial Times)

Today's events, rates, and data 

  • Late yesterday and overnight, risk sentiment was dented by a slew of worrying US corporate earnings, leaving global stocks on the back foot to begin the month of May. Amazon reported that operating income could significantly fall in the second quarter whilst Apple decided not to provide a forecast. The US Dollar ticked higher and US treasury yields fell, supporting the risk off tone. Overnight, Asian equity markets fell along with US and European equity index futures.

Today's events

UK Nationwide HPI                       0.7% vs 0.8% last month

US ISM Manufacturing PMI          15:00

Interbank rates:

GBPUSD: 1.2547

GBPEUR: 1.1452

EURUSD: 1.0955