UK retail sales rose by 0.8% in August, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Sales from online channels moved 2.5% lower against July’s data but were still 46.8% higher than pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, U.S. retail sales rose only 0.6% in August following July’s revised rise of 0.9%, according to the latest data from the U.S. Commerce Department, released Wednesday; the data missed expectations as economists were forecasting an increase of 1.1%.
Wall Street closed weaker yesterday with Tech stocks once again being the hardest hit. The S&P 500 ended down 0.84%, and the Nasdaq dropped 1.27%. While Asian stocks traded higher, China’s Shanghai Composite is up 1.30%, and the Shenzhen Component has edged up 1.10%.
Crude oil prices surged fresh weekly high on Friday boosted by the positive weekly API and EIA inventory data and oil prices also received some support after Saudi Arabia intensifying up the pressure on the UAE, Nigeria, and Iraq to adhere to the group’s production cuts.
In the currency market, the Dollar index fell after mixed economic data. The US Building Permits dropped to 1.47M, against the projected 1.51M and the Housing Starts fell to 1.42M, compared to the expected 1.47M.
The gold price rebounded from the previous session low, the precious metal fell by more than 1% on Thursday responding to the statement of the Fed meeting published on Wednesday.
On the data front, US Labor Department released the latest Initial Jobless Claims figures, new jobless claims fell to 860,000 last week, which is the lowest number since the pandemic began but continues to be at a historically high level.
On Thursday, The Bank of England opted to leave interest rates unchanged at 0.1% at the September meeting and vote to continue with its existing programmes of quantitative easing programme to a total of £745BN. For 2020 Q3, economists at the Bank expect GDP to be around 7% below its 2019 Q4 level, less weak than had been expected in the August Report.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has surpassed 30 million worldwide, and the death toll stands at 943,203. The United States is the worst-affected country, with more than 6.6 million diagnosed cases and at least 197,397 deaths. In Europe 4,893,614 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded and 226,524 death. "We have a very serious situation unfolding before us," said Dr Hans Kluge, WHO's regional director for Europe.
GBP/USD: The currency pair trades below 1.30 zone, any break above 1.3010 will open doors to 1.3040 and 1.3080. On the downside, the immediate support near 1.2940 followed by 1.2900.
The important levels to watch for today: Support- 1.3010 and 1.3040 Resistance- 1.2940 and 1.2900.
Dollar Index: The greenback again retreated to near the support zone 92.70, at the time of writing the index trades near 92.85.
The important levels to watch for today: Support- 92.70 and 92.50 Resistance- 93.20 and 93.55.
Quote of the day: Investing is fun and exciting, but dangerous if you don’t do any work – Peter Lynch.
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