Market Update

This week has been a quiet week on the economic front for Sterling, however the positive outlook for The UK keeps improving with Covid cases and deaths continuing to drop due to the steady vaccination rollout. This sentiment was further strengthened with the announcement that The UK has secured an extra 60 million Pfizer doses aimed to extend the booster jab program from autumn this year. As of yesterday, more or less 34 million people had received the first jab, with almost a 3rd of that number having received both doses. The success of the rollout has led to Boris and other members of his team stating as it stands there is no reason why restrictions can’t be fully lifted on the target date of 21st June. Moving forward, the focus will be on The Bank of England’s meeting in May where it’s now expected that we should start to hear comments about potentially cutting back the current Quantitive Easing program.

April has been a positive month for the Euro, with a pick up in business activity across the Euro-Zone, providing further optimism for the second quarter. Most European countries have now stepped up their vaccination rates after last weeks turnaround for the distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The optimism around the vaccination program has led to some governments within the bloc look to prepare easing of lockdown measures, with Italy opening parts of their economy on Monday and are soon to be followed by France & Greece in Mid-May. Tomorrow see’s key data for the bloc with GDP Growth & Inflation figures out for April which will give an indication on the effect the vaccination program is having.

Yesterday’s Fed Reserve meeting has led to a retreat in the dollar against the majority of major currencies after The Fed left their interest rates unchanged at 0% – 0.25% and mentioned it wasn’t looking to reduce their monetary policy which currently stands at $120 billion per month, due to concerns still focused on the impact on the job’s market. Alongside this, President Biden’s new spending plan of $1.8 trillion has also put pressure on the currency. In more positive news, Biden had initially promised to oversee 100 million doses given within 100 days but last night it had actually been double that with 200 million doses in the 100 day time frame. Meaning now nearly 70% of residents had been fully vaccinated.

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