GBP/USD hits 11-week lows
Eyeing Covid restrictions
Last week the Pound traded in a tight range against the Euro but sank to an interbank low of 1.3733 versus the US Dollar after strong data emerged across the pond. Markets are keenly eyeing the announcement from Boris Johnson expected today about the easing of coronavirus restrictions. Meanwhile, the rest of the week will see Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey speak, as well as a few influential data releases. The most significant could be Friday's growth stat for May, forecast to fall from June's 2.3% to 1.9%. Today's UK services data showed a print higher than expectations, indicating more activity in the sector than experts thought.
ECB strategy meeting ahead
Against the Euro, the Pound traded within a tight 0.6% range last week, closing just 0.15% higher than where it began. Meanwhile, the Euro slipped by 0.6% against the US Dollar last week, closing the week below the 1.19 interbank level. Euro weakness came as a result of a stronger US Dollar rather than any events in the Eurozone. In the week ahead, European Central Bank members will convene for a strategy meeting to discuss inflation. Additionally, quarterly European Commission Economic Forecasts will be released as well as the ECB's monetary policy meeting minutes. Other data includes German and Eurozone sentiment data.
GBP/USD hits 11-week lows
The Pound continued to slide versus the US Dollar last week, hitting 11-week lows before erasing some of its losses on Friday afternoon. The GBP/USD currency pair closed 0.36% lower on the week. The strong US Dollar appears to be overvalued from a technical standpoint, but a softer Dollar looks unlikely for now after Friday's strong labour market data beat expectations. There's a US holiday today, but there will be labour market data and the Federal Reserve's latest meeting minutes out in the rest of the week. Markets will also be looking to President Biden to make an announcement on the US vaccination programme, detailing how many people have received at least their first vaccination. Currently, targets are anticipating around 70% of citizens have had one shot.
AUD and NZD
RBA rate decision in focus
The Pound to New Zealand Dollar exchange rate closed just 0.21% higher last week after a downturn in the second half of the week which saw Sterling lose around 1.0% of its earlier gains. It was a similar story with the Aussie Dollar, with the British Pound initially climbing by approximately 1.0%, before slipping to close just 0.22% higher at the end of the week. Overnight, Australian services data showed a decline in activity in June in comparison to May. While Aussie Building Permits showed further contraction. May's figure came in at -7.1%, after April's -5.7% decline and the forecast for a slightly smaller -5.0% tumble.
One of the main events in the week ahead will be the Reserve Bank of Australia's interest rate decision. While it's expected to remain at record lows, markets are looking at forward guidance for monetary policy from central banks around the world to see who could be the first to hike interest rates. Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe will make a speech on the same day as the latest monetary policy announcement, as well as later in the week. It's an incredibly quiet week for New Zealand data, with only a smattering of low-tier ecostats due for release. They're unlikely to significantly influence the way the NZD trades, leaving the Kiwi Dollar susceptible to overall risk sentiment and other geopolitical events.
Labour market data ahead
The Pound to Canadian Dollar started the week relatively flat but finished the week around 0.3% lower. The main event for the Canadian Dollar this week is likely to be labour market figures released on Friday. Canada will reveal Employment Change and Unemployment Rate numbers, as well as earnings stats.