GBP/USD Steadies After Wednesday’s 2021 Lows

  • GBPUSD
    (${instrument.percentChange}%)

UK Covid Rules

The UK government announced tougher Covid-19 rules on Wednesday, following the rapid spread of the Omicron variant. There were 568 confirmed cases across the UK, as per yesterday's announcement. [1]

The Plan B, includes measures such as work from home, compulsory face masks on public indoor venues and mandatory NHS Covid Pass in specific settings. Gradual Implementation of the new rules, will start this Friday, December 10.

Recent Covid News

Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Tedros, warned in the latest press briefing that "certain features of omicron, including its global spread and large number of mutations, suggest it could have a major impact on the course of the pandemic", while announcing that the Omicron variant has been reported in 57 countries. [2]

UK's stricter measures and Dr Tedros' warning dented this week's optimism around the new Covid variant, following upbeat commentary around its severity. The latest boon to sentiment came from Pfizer and BioNTech, which announced yesterday, that three doses of their Covid-19 vaccine could neutralize the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529 lineage), based on preliminary laboratory studies. [3]

GBP/USD Reaction

The British pound took a hit from the news of imminent tougher Covid-19 rules in the UK, dropping to its lowest level since November 2020 against the greenback on Wednesday (1.3159), but steadies as we head towards the opening of European markets.


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We will need to see in what mood they will start the day and whether they can sustain recent optimism. Upbeat mood could help GBP/USD push for the EMA100 and the descending trend-line from November high (1.3250-70), but a catalyst will likely be required for the breach of both. Successful effort could potentially spark a short-squeeze towards mid-1.3300s.

However, broader risk is clearly tilted to the downside and the pair remains in precarious position technically, while expectations around monetary policy from the Bank of England and the Fed, remain unfavorable. The pair is vulnerable to 1.3133, but it is probably early to talk about challenges to 1.3013-00.

From today's economic calendar, only US Jobless claims stand out. On Friday however, the UK releases Industrial & Manufacturing Production and October GDP, while from the US we expect the latest CPI Inflation data.

Nikos Tzabouras

Senior Market Specialist

Nikos Tzabouras is a graduate of the Department of International & European Economic Studies at the Athens University of Economics and Business. He has a long time presence at FXCM, as he joined the company in 2011. He has served from multiple positions, but specializes in financial market analysis and commentary.

With his educational background in international relations, he emphasizes not only on Technical Analysis but also in Fundamental Analysis and Geopolitics – which have been having increasing impact on financial markets. He has longtime experience in market analysis and as a host of educational trading courses via online and in-person sessions and conferences.

References

1

Retrieved 09 Dec 2021 https://www.gov.uk/government/news/prime-minister-confirms-move-to-plan-b-in-england

2

Retrieved 09 Dec 2021 https://twitter.com/i/broadcasts/1yoJMWgvbMpKQ

3

Retrieved 24 May 2022 https://www.pfizer.com/news/press-release/press-release-detail/pfizer-and-biontech-provide-update-omicron-variant

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