The British pound is higher against the Australian dollar on Friday.

  • GBP/AUD to finish week higher after touching 11-month low
  • UK June retail sales, July flash services PMI top expectations
  • Chin orders the closure of US consulate in Chengdu
  • Broader sentiment shaken by pickup in US China tensions

GBP/AUD was up by 81 pips (+0.44%) to 1.8026 as of 4pm GMT. This week the pound-Aussie exchange rate is on course to finish +0.38%.

The currency pair traded steadily higher throughout the day, first taking out 1.79, then 1.80 later in the day. Yesterday it rose 0.66%.

GBP: UK retail data boosts pound

Having been battered down to 11-month lows against the Australian dollar this week, the British pound staged a two-day recovery to close out the week with gains.

Escalating US-China tensions have hurt the Australian dollar but weakness in the US dollar has helped Sterling and other major currencies as well as gold, which is close to a record high.

Better than hoped-for UK economic data and the rumoured creation of a UK infrastructure bank by the UK Treasury helped give the pound a nudge. The new bank would serve to replace the European Investment Bank after Brexit and help push forward Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “Level Up” agenda.

June UK retail sales rose +13.9%, better than the +8.3% expected. That left retail sales down just -1.6% on a year-over-year basis, rather than -5.9% expected. Additionally, the UK flash services PMI rose to 56.6 when a rise to 51.5 was expected.

AUD: US China diplomatic flare up

The Aussie dollar turned lower alongside Chinese equities, where the benchmark CSI 300 was flattened by -4.4% after a fiery speech by US Secretary of State Pompeo in which he called for an end to ‘blind engagement’ with China.

On Friday China made a tit-for-tat response by ordering the US to close its consulate in Chengdu after the US ordered China to close its consulate in Houston. The new escalations mark a new high-point in tensions, which have been rising since the China-originated coronavirus pandemic and the new security law was passed in Hong Kong. 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.