26/03 – Dollar slips into the weekend

Jeremy Thomson-Cook
Jeremy Thomson-Cook 26 March 2021

GBP: Holding steady

EUR: Not getting much help

USD: Two paths to strength

Sterling

Sterling has continued to show a level of resolve, not reacting much to ongoing volatility in some other markets. The provision of vaccines in the UK continues to support sterling and will allow the pound some benefit of the doubt as and when concerns over reopening of the economy seep back into conversations within markets.

As the UK reopens, we will have to keep an eye on just how quickly people return to some semblance of normality as opposed to remaining at home.

Euro

The euro cannot buy a bit of help at the moment, pushed lower across the board against risk assets and also havens. We could be beginning to see the euro being used as a funding currency for riskier bets or simply no real reason for holding the single currency being evident.

Either way, the EUR has a lot to do to recover back to a level that could be considered fair value.

US dollar

The combination of President Biden doubling down on his virus effort and the cancellation of the 5 day lockdown in Germany has boosted risk sentiment across the board, weakening the USD.

President Biden’s first press conference since Inauguration saw him touch on many policy areas but the most important measure for markets remains vaccines. Biden has pledged to administer as many as 200 million doses by the end of April. Currently they are able to administer 2 million a day so an increase in pace is necessary.

While this announcement has increased risk appetite, there will come a point that people use such news to buy the USD should vaccine efforts remain poor elsewhere, prompting the belief that the US is set to outperform the rest of the world.

Elsewhere

The ongoing nightmare in the Suez Canal looks set to continue into the middle of next week, escalating concerns of issues for both European and US factories in the coming months. While individual companies are more likely to be affected in the short term, the flow through into currencies cannot be overlooked should longer term issues over supply of commodities become an issue.

Market rates

Today’s interbank rates at 09:14 against sterling. Movement vs yesterday.

Euro €1.168 ↑
US dollar $1.377 ↑
Australian dollar $1.807 ↑
South African rand R20.64 ↑
Japanese yen ¥150.7 ↑

Have a great day and a better weekend.