The pound rallied this morning after the publishing of January’s retail sales figures. The projected figured of 0.2% was comfortably surpassed as the actual figure showed a growth of 1.0%. The pound has recently been under enormous pressure due to the forever present uncertainty around Brexit. UK Prime Minister Theresa May, yesterday lost another vote in the commons following her latest Brexit statement. The vote was a non-binding vote but has weakened the PM as she no longer has a united party; the countdown is very much in effect and yet there is no resolution.
In contrast, the US index futures were in the red this morning due to poor retail sales figures on Thursday; projections were of a 0.0% change however actual figures came in at -1.8%. This has raised concerns over the strength of the US economy. Investors will be keeping an eye on the dollar as there still is no clarity of the ongoing US-China talks. On a positive point, President Trump is set to sign a piece of legislation which will prevent a government shutdown; however, if we factor in President Trump declaring a national emergency over the border wall, there is unrest amongst market participants.
Gold made gains as the dollar weakened due to a combination of weak economic data from the US yesterday and the current political climate in the US.
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