GBP/USD: Pound Sinks Lower With Low UK Retail Sales

The US dollar is slipping lower versus the Australian dollar on Friday.

The US dollar Aussie dollar exchange rate pushed to a high of US$0.6732. Across the week, the Australian dollar has gained 0.7% in value against the greenback, in its first week of gains this year.

Australian Dollar

The statistics surrounding coronavirus have worsened this week. However, the Chinese proxy, the Australian dollar has shrugged off those concerns.

The Aussie dollar is one of the top performing currencies despite analysts expecting coronavirus to hit the Chinese economy hard. A Reuters poll of analysts revealed that the Chinese economy is expected to grow just 4.5% in the first quarter of 2020, compared to 6% growth achieved in the final three months of 2019.

The fact that the Australian dollar is pushing higher suggests that investors are confident of a V-shaped recovery in the Chinese economy. However, this confidence will be dependent on Chinese authorities containing the virus sooner rather than later.

There is no further Australian economic data due today. Investors will now look ahead to the release of the minutes from the February Reserve Bank of Australia monetary policy meeting. The RBA kept rates on hold at the meeting however, speculation is starting to swirl that they might need to start considering a more dovish policy.

US Dollar

The US dollar was on the back foot on Friday following the release of US retail sales. Whilst the data revealed that retail sales increased a solid 0.3% month on month in January, as forecast, delving deeper into the figures there was a cause for caution. The control group of retail sales, which excludes volatile items such as cars, petrol and building material and is therefore more aligned with  broader consumer spending was flat.

With a solid labour market, wage growth and strong consumer confidence consumers should be happy to spend, yet these figures indicate there is some nervousness. Investors will now look ahead to US consumer confidence data later today. A small dip in confidence is expected, although it remains at a strong level. is a news site only and not a currency trading platform. is a site operated by TransferWise Inc. (“We”, “Us”), a Delaware Corporation. We do not guarantee that the website will operate in an uninterrupted or error-free manner or is free of viruses or other harmful components. The content on our site is provided for general information only and is not intended as an exhaustive treatment of its subject. We expressly disclaim any contractual or fiduciary relationship with you on the basis of the content of our site, any you may not rely thereon for any purpose. You should consult with qualified professionals or specialists before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content on our site. Although we make reasonable efforts to update the information on our site, we make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content on our site is accurate, complete or up to date, and DISCLAIM ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. Some of the content posted on this site has been commissioned by Us, but is the work of independent contractors. These contractors are not employees, workers, agents or partners of TransferWise and they do not hold themselves out as one. The information and content posted by these independent contractors have not been verified or approved by Us. The views expressed by these independent contractors on do not represent our views.