By Simon Eastman
Last week was fairly stagnant, with a few gains made in the early part after the Bank Holiday weekend, only to see those lost again after the Bank of England confirmation of continued low interest rates into 2023.
The local elections which we participated in on Thursday didn’t have much of an impact as the counting continued over the course of Friday, although we did see early on that the Conservatives gained the Labour stronghold of Hartlepool. Most commentators didn’t see this as much of a surprise though, given the Conservative government is seen as delivering Brexit and the North East generally was a leave part of the country, Hartlepool included. Elsewhere, the Conservatives made broad gains along with the Greens making good headway too, as Labour lost hundreds of seats. The effect on sterling at the time of writing is yet to be seen but political certainty has been kind to the pound in the past, so we may well see some benefit.
This week, we wait with anticipation to hear the governments plans regards Covid and the roadmap out of lockdown, confirming later that we will be heading towards the next stage of freedom. We saw the announcement on Friday about which countries would be on the Green list initially, once overseas travel was made legal on May 17th, with not many making the final cut.
Only Portugal (including The Azores and Madeira) and Gibraltar you can actually travel to without quarantining on return, whilst Iceland and Israel don’t require quarantine but do require to be fully vaccinated. Australia, New Zealand and Singapore are on the list, but their borders are closed to Brits, leaving the Falklands, The Faroe Islands and finally Brunei as the 12th Green destination. Before arrival into the UK, travellers will need to take one PCR test post arrival.
Its hoped that that popular holiday destinations, where many of our clients are eager to venture too, like Spain, France, Italy and Greece, might be upgraded from Amber to Green by the July/August summer holidays. Currently any Amber country arrival must quarantine for 5 days and pay for two PCR tests.
Red list arrivals, as it is currently, will still be required to quarantine in a designated hotel, self-funded for 10 nights, including multiple tests, at a cost of £1,750 per person.
We also have a variety of economic data to contend with, with the major releases outlined below:
AUD retail sales
EU and German ZEW economic statement
Speech from Bank of England Governor Bailey
UK industrial & manufacturing production
BoE Governor Bailey speech
Ascension Day in Europe – Markets Closed
BoE member Cunliffe speech
Bank of Canada Governor Macklem speech
BoE Governor Bailey speech
US retail sales and consumer sentiment index
With plenty at home and away to navigate and the potential for overseas leisure travel to be right round the corner, make sure to stay in close contact with the team here to discuss any possible upcoming currency requirements.