Sterling retreated from peak levels amid reports of no EU trade deal this week.

Risk appetite held firm on Wednesday, although with a slightly more reserved tone given near-term coronavirus fears and the mood was more cautious on Thursday. Equity markets posted further gains before fading after the New York close amid near-term coronavirus concerns.

The dollar regained ground on yield grounds with Euro and commodity currencies correcting gains. EUR/USD dipped to lows just below 1.1750 and failed to regain momentum.

Sterling retreated from peak levels amid reports of no EU trade deal this week with a notable GBP/USD retreat from 2-month highs. Commodity currencies were also subjected to a correction amid a more sober risk tone.

The Euro was unable to make headway in early Europe amid reservations over the short-term outlook, although with some hopes that coronavirus cases were peaking.

In comments on Wednesday, ECB President Lagarde stated that all options are on the table, but the PEPP and TLTRO programmes have proved their effectiveness and can be dynamically adjusted to react to how the pandemic evolves. She added that these are likely to remain the main tools for adjusting monetary policy while the duration of stimulus is as important as the level. She also commented that developments in the exchange rate may have a negative impact on the path of inflation. The comments overall dampened expectations that the ECB could cut interest rates and she also reiterated that fiscal policy had to remain at the centre of the stabilisation effort.

Council member Knot stated that the no options were excluded ahead of the December decision while the Bank of Spain head called for urgent action to stem deflation risks. Expectations of very aggressive measures in December were scaled back slightly, although the Euro continued to edge lower.

There were no major US developments during the day with a partial US holiday and the US currency resisted further selling.

The Euro was hampered by an increase in US yields during the day with increased speculation that the dollar relationship would move closer to changes in yields rather than risk appetite. After failing to hold above the 1.1800 level, EUR/USD retreated to 1-week lows below 1.1750.

The Euro recovered slightly from its lowest levels as approval on the EU recovery fund underpinned sentiment, but EUR/USD was unable to regain much ground and settled around 1.1765 on Thursday.

China’s new loans declined sharply to CNY690bn for October from CNY1900bn the previous month and below census forecasts of CNY750bn. There was also a slowdown in annual M2 money supply growth to 10.5% from 10.9% previously and the data overall maintained expectations that the Chinese central bank was adopting a slightly less aggressive stance towards monetary policy which hampered risk appetite to some extent.

Activity in the New York session was dampened by the US bond market closure for a holiday, although equity markets were open.

Georgia announced that there would be a full hand recount of votes for the Presidential election. Markets continued to fret over near-term US coronavirus developments and the risk that any political momentum for Biden would be delayed by Administration obstruction. US yields held firm and USD/JPY edged above the 105.50 level.

US equity futures moved lower on Thursday and Chinese interest rates continued to edge higher which dampened risk conditions. Japanese core machinery orders declined 4.4% for September with an 11.5% annual decline which also curbed risk conditions and USD/JPY retreated to the 105.20 area before settling around 105.25.

EU source reports on Wednesday indicated that EU and UK negotiators would not be able to seal a trade agreement this week with the mid-November deadline missed. The sources added, however, that the aim was to complete a draft legal text by the middle of next week.

There were still underlying expectations that a deal would be reached, but reports of a delay served as a convenient trigger for a bout of profit taking after strong gains during Tuesday. There were also underlying concerns that the economy would be damaged next year even if a trade deal is in place.

Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Tenreyro stated that there is positive evidence of a negative interest rates policy in Europe. She has previously expressed a favourable stance towards negative rates, but others on the committee are notably less enthusiastic.

GBP/USD retreated to just below 1.32 from 2-month highs near 1.3300 while GBP/EUR dipped from 5-month highs around 1.1280. UK GDP was estimated at 15.5% for the third quarter, slightly below expectations of 15.8%. The annual decline was 9.6% and the ONS pointed to a notably weak recovery in investment and momentum slowed for September.

Economic Calendar

07:00United Kingdom GDP (Q/Q)15.80%-19.80%
07:00United Kingdom GDP (Y/Y)-9.40%-21.50%
07:00GBP Industrial Production (Y/Y)(SEP)-6.10%-6.40%
07:00GBP Industrial Production (M/M)(SEP)0.80%0.30%
07:00GBP Manufacturing Production (Y/Y)(SEP)-7.40%-8.30%
07:00GBP Manufacturing Production (M/M)(SEP)1.00%0.70%
07:00GBP Trade Balance(SEP)-9.50B-9.01B
07:00GBP Trade Balance Non EU(SEP)-2.40B-2.31B
07:00GBP Total Business Investment (Q/Q)-26.50%
07:00Germany CPI (M/M)(OCT)0.10%0.10%
07:00Germany CPI (Y/Y)(OCT)-0.20%-0.20%
07:00Germany Harmonised CPI (M/M)(OCT)-0.40%-0.40%
07:00Germany Harmonised CPI (Y/Y)(OCT)-0.50%-0.50%
10:00Euro-Zone Industrial Production (M/M)(SEP)0.70%
10:00Euro-Zone Industrial Production (Y/Y)(SEP)-7.20%
13:30USD CPI Ex Food & Energy (M/M)(OCT)0.20%0.20%
13:30USD CPI Ex Food & Energy (Y/Y)(OCT)1.80%1.70%
13:30USD CPI (M/M)(OCT)0.20%

*All rates shown are indicative of interbank rates and should only be used for indication purposes only. It is important to note that foreign exchange rates fluctuate and that rates may vary depending on the amount and the base currency that is purchased or sold. Rates are correct as of 8:00am UK time. CentralFX are not responsible for the rates shown.