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FCP Daily Market Update

17 August 2018

Impending trade talks between China and the U.S. gave risk sentiment a boost in Asian and early European trade yesterday but although this helped prevent range extremes being tested, there was very little to get excited about for those looking for the likes of sterling and the euro to stage a meaningful recovery.

The pound opened up with the weight of the world on its shoulders again, but a strong beat in both headline and core retail sales for July gave it a brief leg up. However, lack of follow-through continues to highlight the negative sentiment currently plaguing sterling.

There was little reaction to trade data from the euro but although it traded on the front foot for much of the day on improved risk sentiment, it closed well off its intra-day highs.

Cautious it may have been, but improved appetite for risk yesterday saw the yen and Swiss franc underperform with the Australian and New Zealand dollars and the euro the primary beneficiaries. Even sterling managed to avoid heavy losses but sentiment remains fragile.

After a busy week, the data calendar is a bit lighter today. Eurozone inflation figures today aren’t expected to deviate too much from flash estimates, particularly in the wake of on-consensus German CPI from earlier in the week. In the States, the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index is expected to edge modestly higher. With neither of today’s primary releases looking likely to inject too much volatility into FX markets, it will be left to broad risk sentiment to determine direction into the end of the week.

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