The Pound to Australian Dollar (GBP/AUD) exchange rate is pushing higher to AU$1.79 this morning, amidst reports that Covid-19 infections have fallen by two-thirds.
At the time of writing the GBP/AUD exchange rate is trading at around AU$1.7902.
Pound (GBP) Bolstered by Falling Coronavirus Cases
In lieu of any notable data releases for the Pound today, the currency instead finds continued support from a hopeful, and careful reopening of the UK’s economy following on from the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
Research from Imperial College London has found that Covid-19 infections fell two-thirds from January to February, with just one in 200 people now testing positive for the virus and England’s R number is thought to be around 0.72.
Speaking this morning on UK television, health minister Helen Whately reiterated that the UK population needed to be patient regarding lockdown restrictions ending, she commented:
‘We’re seeing really good data coming through, clearly on the rates coming right down, though I should remind you and remind viewers that we still have got over 20,000 patients in hospital with Covid-19.’
‘On Monday the prime minister is going to set out the road map for coming out of this and we will see more information about the steps that we’re going to be able to take to ease the restrictions and get back more towards normal.’
Australian Dollar (AUD) Positive on Upbeat Jobs Report
The Australian Dollar stabilised this morning on the back of a positive jobs report from Australia.
The jobless rate in Australia fell to 6.4% from 6.6% in December, versus markets forecast of 6.5%, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics bureau showed today.
Su-Lin Ong, head of Australia economic at the Royal Bank of Canada commented on the figures, saying:
‘Australia has recouped almost all the jobs lost in April/May 2020 at the depths of the recession and nationwide lockdown. While the unemployment rate remains higher, it is heading in the right direction.’
The Australian Dollar’s gains have been limited however as there is a global risk-off mood and investors sell out of the risk-correlated ‘Aussie.’
GBP/AUD Exchange Rate Forecast: UK PMIs in Focus
For Pound investors, tomorrow’s UK PMI data releases are expected to drive GBP/AUD movement.
The preliminary UK services PMI is forecast to show another contraction in the sector due to the national lockdown implemented at the start of January, which could cause Sterling to suffer.
Pound traders will also be looking to tomorrow’s UK retail sales figures from January, which again are expected to slump as the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic has pushed consumers away.
For Australian Dollar investors, Australia’s own retail sales figures are to be published overnight, and are forecast to show a rebound in January as the countries retail sector opens back up.