• Fears of second wave of coronavirus infections drag on risk sentiment & the riskier Australian Dollar (AUD)
  • Weaker than forecast Chinese industrial output & retail sales add to depressed mood
  • Pound (GBP) trades mixed as non-essential shops reopen
  • At 08:15 UTC, Pound Australian Dollar exchange rate (GBP/AUD) trades +0.6% at 1.8403

The risk sensitive Australian Dollar is moving lower versus the Pound, extending losses from the previous week. The Aussie Dollar lost 0.5% versus sterling last week, its first losing week in 5.

At 08:15 UTC, GBP/AUD is trading +0.6% pushing back over 1.84 as fears over a second wave and weak Chinese data dominate.

Fears over a resurgence of coronavirus cases in the US and Beijing are weighing on risk sentiment and the perceived riskier Australian Dollar. 24 US states have seen a steep increase in covid-19 cases, with Florida seeing a record rise.

An outbreak of around 100 coronavirus cases in Beijing is also unnerving investors raising fears of a second wave in China, the world’s second largest economy. Lockdown is already underway in parts of the city to prevent the spread further.

Chinese data did little to boost sentiment, with industrial production increasing 4.4% in May compared to the year previous, falling short of the 5% forecast. Chinese retail sales -2.8% year on year in May. Whilst this was a vat improvement on April’s -7.5% decline, it was still short of the -2% decline forecast. The data shows that domestic demand is ramping up more slowly that hoped.

China is Australia’s largest trading partner. The Australia Dollar is referred to as a China proxy. The weaker Chinese data is also dragging on the Aussie Dollar.

Looking ahead, investors will turn their attention to the release of the minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia’s latest policy meeting.

The Pound is trading mixed. The reopening of non-essential shops is offering some optimism that the UK economy will start to reignite after contracting -20% in April. However, Brexit concerns continue to dampen the mood for towards the Pound.

Boris Johnson is expected to hold virtual talks with European leaders in an attempt to break the Brexit impasse. These talks could make or break the chances of an EU – UK trade deal and will be key for the Pound’s direction going forward.

With no high impacting UK economic data due for release today, investors will look towards tomorrow’s unemployment numbers.