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Markets

Pound takes breather after risk-led recovery

  • Sterling has traded largely in line with global risk sentiment in financial markets in recent weeks, tracking the direction of world stock markets higher or lower
26 Aug, 2021

LONDON: Britain's pound steadied against the dollar on Thursday, consolidating gains made on the back of a risk-led recovery this week that saw it relcaim the $1.37 level.

Sterling has traded largely in line with global risk sentiment in financial markets in recent weeks, tracking the direction of world stock markets higher or lower.

While concerns about the Delta variant have rattled stocks, higher commodity prices have helped put a floor under riskier, growth-correlated currencies, including the pound.

On Thursday, sterling was 0.1% lower to the dollar at $1.3739 by 0809 GMT, having made gains of 1% against the greenback this week.

To the euro, it was 0.06% lower at 85.61 pence.

"With no domestic factors currently driving sterling's movements, GBP/USD has been largely following the risk recovery higher thanks to USD weakness, although EUR/GBP remains quite stuck in its recent range," ING strategists said in a note, adding that this looks unlikely to change today considering there is no economic data out of the UK.

They said that if the dollar stabilises before Friday's Jackson Hole symposium, the sterling/dollar rate could struggle to move back above the $1.3800 200-day moving average.

Investors will watch the event, attended by prominent central bankers, for further clues on potential tapering by the US Federal Reserve.

Analysts will also be watching for daily Brtish COVID-19 data, which is released at 1500 GMT.

The country recorded 35,847 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, up from 30,838 on Tuesday, and 149 deaths within 28 days of a positive test, down from 174 the previous day, according to government data.

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