Sterling has bounced back today against major currency pairs, in part due to a rally in the stock markets, as financial services are important to the UK economy. The currencies market was also cheered by news that the US Senate had agreed on a massive $2trillion economic stimulus to combat the effects of the Coronavirus.
Sterling bounces back against US Dollar
Sterling rose against the US Dollar from a low of 1.17 in typical mid-market rates to around 1.196, as the greenback weakened a little following huge gains in March, as investors sought a safe-haven currency.
In the UK, the FTSE 100 rose for the third day running to a two-week high. It has gained around 15% from its eight-year low a week ago when interest rates were reduced by the Bank of England to a record 0.1%.
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Euro viewed as safe haven during Coronavirus crisis
The US Dollar may be king, but the Euro is also increasingly being viewed as a ‘safe haven’ during the Coronavirus crisis, with a strong performance against most majors.
The Euro tends to rise as stock markets fall. In the last month, Euro has strengthened against the Pound with GBP-EUR falling from almost 1.20 to a low of 1.05 in typical mid-market rates.
During March, the Euro has performed well against most major currencies and is holding its own against the greenback. It is currently at around 1.08 against the US Dollar, on a parity with a month ago.
The Euro is the second most actively traded currency in the world.
For guidance on buying and selling euros and all other currencies, talk to your Halo Financial Currency Consultant.
Coronavirus latest update
The improved market sentiment is also due to signs that the Coronavirus is easing in China, as lockdown has begun to be lifted in parts of Hubei province and travel restrictions have been lifted.
India started its lockdown, which imposes a ban on 1.3 billion people from leaving their homes. Altogether, around one-quarter of the world’s population now face some form of lockdown.
But the restrictions on travel and industry has had one major positive impact, as carbon emission and air pollution levels have seen significant falls of around 25%.
Parts of Europe are still being devastated by the Coronavirus, with deaths in Spain reaching 3,434 – which is more than those in China, where COVID-19 originated. Italy has the largest number of fatalities.
In the UK, there was a reminder that the Coronavirus can strike anyone, as Prince Charles reviled he has tested positive, although the heir to the British throne is reported to have only mild symptoms.
Largest economic rescue plan ever to counter Coronavirus
The US emergency stimulus package to counter the effects of Coronavirus is the largest economic rescue measure in history.
Full details of the emergency relief bill are still to be confirmed, but it is believed to include between $250-$500 billion for ‘helicopter payments’ – reported to be $1,200 for single people – $350 billion for business loans, $500 billion in loans for companies in difficulty and $130billion for hospitals.
The announcement of the biggest fiscal stimulus ever was made in the early hours of Wednesday 25 March and took five days of negotiation. However, it still needs to be ratified and brought into law.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the aid package is “a war-time level of investment for our nation”. Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer says, “So many people are being put out of work through no fault of their own. They don’t know what their future is going to be like, how are they going to pay the bills. Well, we come to their rescue.”
The package follows a pledge by the Federal Reserve to buy bonds and mortgage-backed securities “in the amounts needed” to maintain the markets during the Coronavirus crisis.
There is a lot of volatility this week and Sterling is expected to remain under pressure as the Coronavirus crisis continues. This could affect your currency trading. Contact our currency experts or fill in the form below to ensure you get the best value for your money.