Sterling moved lower amid a lack of confidence in fundamentals and more fragile global risk conditions.

The dollar was boosted by a significant recovery in US yields during the day.

Risk appetite was also more fragile which provided net US currency support on defensive grounds and the currency index hit 2-week highs before a correction.  EUR/USD retreated to 1.0800 amid fragile underlying Euro confidence.

Sterling moved lower amid a lack of confidence in fundamentals and more fragile global risk conditions.

Support for oil prices from further Saudi Arabian production cuts was offset by demand concerns. Commodity currencies corrected sharply lower on trade fears, but there was a significant recovery from worst levels.

Scandinavian currencies lost ground amid more fragile risk conditions.

Euro-zone data remained very weak with Italian industrial production declining 28.4% for March to give a year-on-year declined of 29.3%.

German Chancellor Merkel was reported as saying that the German Constitutional Court ruling had great importance, reinforcing concerns over a potential rift between Germany and the EU, although Merkel also commented that the situation was solvable. Underlying unease over Italian bond markets was also a significant factor in undermining potential support, especially given long-term damage to the economy.

There were also concerns over the German coronavirus infection rate with reports that the R rate had increased to 1.13 over the weekend. A sustained rate above 1.0 would trigger a sharp spike in cases over the next few weeks and potentially trigger a reversal of easing lockdown measures.

The dollar was able to resist further selling pressure with a return of defensive demand for the US currency and commodity currencies also retreated sharply. The dollar index pushed to 2-week highs and EUR/USD weakened to near 1.0800.

Fed Governor Quarles stated that market strains had eased after Fed action, but that more may be required of the central bank before the crisis is over. Chicago Fed President Evans stated that negative interest rates are unlikely to be used as a tool in the US while the central bank is prepared to do everything it can to support employment. Markets will be waiting for further clarity from Fed Chair Powell in a public appearance scheduled for Wednesday.

The dollar maintained a firmer tone on Tuesday as defensive demand increased slightly and EUR/USD was trapped close to the 1.0800 level.

Chinese money supply growth strengthened to 11.1% in the year to April from 10.1% previously while new loans declined to CNY1,700bn from CNY2,850bn previously, although this was above consensus forecasts. There were further expectations that the Chinese central bank would take additional measures to support demand.

Overall risk appetite remained fragile, especially after a fresh increase in South Korean coronavirus cases and equity markets lost ground. The Japanese yen, however, weakened sharply during the day and failed to gain safe-haven support. There was a significant reversal in US yields with the 2-year yield moving to near 0.18% from a record low of close to 0.10% late last week. USD/JPY advanced to highs around 107.70 at the European close with the Euro advancing to near 116.50.

Risk appetite remained more fragile on Tuesday with sentiment undermined by China’s decision to impose import bans on meat from four Australian plants. There were also concerns that the phase-1 US-China trade deal would be re-opened and concerns that there would be a fresh spike in coronavirus cases. Equity markets lost ground and USD/JPY retreated to the 107.40 area as the yen regained some territory on the crosses.

There were reports of UK Cabinet divisions over the government’s latest coronavirus strategy, reinforcing concerns over the effectiveness of government policy. In particular, there were concerns over the potential move to quarantine travellers arriving into the UK from overseas, especially given a negative impact on the economy.

Sterling came under significant pressure ahead of the New York open with a GBP/USD slide to lows just below 1.2300.

A weaker tone in global risk appetite was also an important negative factor for the UK currency. The UK currency found an element of support as equities recovered ground, but domestic concerns persisted, especially with Bank of England Haldane issuing a warning over the medium-term recovery profile. Haldane commented that the economy would be scarred for years due to increase corporate debts and household fears over job prospects. With risk appetite remaining more fragile, Sterling was unable to gain significant support and GBP/USD traded around 1.2315 on Tuesday.

Economic Calendar

Expected Previous
13:30 USD CPI (Y/Y)(APR) 0.80% 1.50%
13:30 USD CPI (M/M)(APR) -0.60% -0.40%
13:30 USD CPI Ex Food & Energy (Y/Y)(APR) 1.70% 2.10%
13:30 USD CPI Ex Food & Energy (M/M)(APR) -0.20% -0.10%
14:00 FOMC Member J. Bullard Speaks - -
14:00 FOMC Member Kashkari Speaks - -
15:00 FOMC Harker Speech - -
15:00 FOMC Governor Keith Randal Quarles Speech - -
19:00 Monthly Budget Statement(APR) - -119.0B
22:00 FOMC Member Mester Speaks - -

*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.