Marketwatch EU & UK

Daily Insights
August 18, 2023

We kick off the final day of the working week with a soft data release from the UK with Retail Sales falling more than expected in July after a run of cool and wet weather kept people off the High Street. Data released this morning showed that the volume of goods sold in stores and online fell 1.2% against expectations of a 0.6% decline and follows a 0.6% gain in June. All parts of the index were lower than expected with the figures marking the first time in four months that sales have fallen short of expectations, a worrying sign that may suggest that consumers are struggling under the weight of soaring prices and higher interest rates. Even more worrying is the fact that the data follows higher than expected wage growth suggesting that UK consumers are not spending their hard-earned cash. The pound slipped a touch after the report, dropping to the lower part of the recent range to trade around 1.2725.

The US dollar has fallen a little but is still set for a fifth week of gains, supported by higher US yields. EURUSD remains within its recent well defined trading range, hovering below the psychological 1.09 area seeking direction. USDJPY is consolidating above 145 after data released overnight showed that Japan’s core consumer inflation slowed in July in line with the central bank’s view that upward pressure on prices appears to be easing.

Headlines out of China continue to set the tone for risk appetite with the central bank signaling that more monetary easing is on the cards as the PBoC vowed to “step up macroeconomic policy adjustment.” With the yuan sliding towards its weakest level since 2007, there were headlines of state-owned banks being urged to step up intervention as the central bank delivered its strongest ever pushback against a weaker currency via its daily reference rate.

Have a great weekend and cheer for the Lionesses!

Economic Calendar

GBP - Retail Sales m/m
CNY - Foreign Direct Investment ytd/y
EUR - Final Core CPI y/y
EUR - Final CPI y/y
EUR - EU Economic Forecasts
CAD - IPPI m/m
CAD - RMPI m/m
USD - Mortgage Delinquencies

Market Indicators

Currency Pairs
Pair High Low
eur/gbp 0.85577 0.8528
gbp/usd 1.27657 1.27072
gbp/aud 1.9926 1.9826
gbp/nzd 2.15244 2.14264
usd/jpy 145.79 145.181
eur/usd 1.08939 1.08644
gbp/jpy 185.885 184.65
eur/cnh 7.95449 7.927
usd/cnh 7.30852 7.27925
Equities and Commodities
Nasdaq 100 14715
DOW 34475
S&P 500 4373.05
WTI 80.54
GOLD 1892.89

This document is for information purposes only and does not constitute any recommendation or solicitation to any person to enter into any transaction or adopt any trading strategy, nor does it constitute any prediction of likely future movements in exchange rates or prices or any representation that any such future movements will not exceed those shown on any illustration. All exchange rates and figures appearing are for illustrative purposes only. You are advised to make your own independent judgment with respect to any matter contained herein.

About Simon Walker


Simon Walker is head of the GPS Capital Markets trade desk in our London office where he is responsible for covering market risk in European hours. He has over 25 years’ experience in foreign exchange, working in both sales and trading.