The Pound was lower on the day but held onto weekly gains as it emerged the Queen of England had recorded a video address to the nation to be released on Sunday.
The Aussie dollar picked up off weekly lows against the pound, thanks in part to a rebound in commodity prices which should support Australia’s commodity exports.
GBP/AUD was down by 40 pips (-0.20%) to 2.0404 with a daily range of 2.0337 to 2.0532 as of 5.30pm GMT.
The currency pair came just short of monthly highs on Thursday and rounded lower on Friday with a brief dip below 2.04.
Volatility in oil prices coupled with dire US economic data that caused a risk-off mood across markets saw the pound turn lower at the end of the week. The United States reported a loss of -701,000 jobs in its monthly non-farm payrolls report.
Oil prices were volatile again on Friday after the biggest daily gain on record on Thursday for the most traded futures crude contracts. The volatility, which disproportionately hits UK stock markets with the high weighting of BP and Royal Dutch Shell shares on the FTSE 100 index weighed on demand for Sterling.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson deciding to remain in isolation added to the downside in the pound on Friday. Johnson tweeted that he still has a fever but says he is recovering well.
Australia as a big commodity-exporting nation benefitted from the improved state of affairs in global oil markets. Lower oil prices threatened to drag down the price of Australian exports of precious and industrial metals.
US President Trump tweeted late on Thursday that Russia and Saudi Arabia had agreed to slash output by as much as 10 million barrels per day, representing 10% of global supply. The open question is whether 10% even comes close to offsetting the demand destruction caused by coronavirus lockdowns. Ideally US producers also need to reduce output, however such an agreement would not be allowed under US anti-cartel rules.