The British pound is higher against the Australian dollar on Friday.
The British pound managed to bounce back after another dire set of monthly UK retail sales numbers and a huge jump in government borrowing after some monetary stimulus was pulled back by the Bank of England.
The Aussie dollar was beset by concerns that the US-China trade relationship is set to deteriorate further. At its annual congress the CCP (Chinese communist Party) announced a new sedition law in Hong Kong which threatens the city’s autonomy.
Pound versus Australian dollar was up by 32 pips (+0.17%) to 1.8634 as of 4pm GMT.
GBP/AUD crossed back above 1.86 in early trading, later topping 1.87 before pulling back. Yesterday the exchange rate rose +0.37% but for the week it is lower by -1.21%.
GBP: UK retail sales crater
There was a wobble in the pound halfway through its trading day with the Aussie upon the release of April retail sales figures. UK retail sales for April crashed -18.1% since last month and -22.6% from the same time last year. The numbers are exaggerated by falling petrol and fuel prices but even stripping out fuel, the monthly decline was -15.2%.
Still Sterling managed to hold on and eek out some gains following the decision from the Bank of England to end one of its many stimulus programs. The contingent term repo facility (CTRF) was designed to add some extra liquidity into the system during financial market stress but has become obsolete as market conditions calmed.
AUD: China makes its move on Hong Kong
The dollar was higher to the detriment of the Chinese yuan and the Australian dollar after China announced plans for a ‘sedition’ law in Hong Kong that would be policed by the mainland. Most geopolitical experts are describing it as a plain and clear power grab following the demonstrations last year.
The decision came at China’s National People’s Congress annual meeting. New pro-democracy demonstrations seem likely and should the US choose to intervene, there will be big ramifications for the US-China trade deal.