Euro and sterling cling to overnight gains

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HONG KONG – Wednesday’s pound and euro held onto most of their gains from the previous day, as hopes of easing lockdowns in China and rising US retail sales pushed investors toward riskier assets and the safe-haven market. dollars in damage.

The European common currency touched $1.0564 in early trading in Asia, its highest point in a week, after rising 1.1% overnight, the largest day of percentage gains since March.

It was last slightly lower at $1,05355.

Sterling stood at $1,24805, trailing a two-week high of $1.2501 earlier in the session, after rising 1.4% on Tuesday after data showed the UK unemployment rate had hit its 48-year low.

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It wasn’t immediately impacted by data showing the UK’s CPI was at 9% yoy in April, the highest since official estimates began in the late 1980s, but marginally below expectations of 9.1%.

Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey said on Monday that the current rise in inflation is the biggest challenge facing the central bank since independence in 1997.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six counterparts, stood at 103.38, reaching a low of 103.18 early in the session, its lowest point in nearly two weeks.

“The pound was boosted by yesterday’s very strong jobs report, in addition to a slight improvement in broader risk sentiment in financial markets, driven by some positive news from China on the lockdowns and strong data from the US,” he said. Carol Kong, currency strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

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Shanghai reached the fourth consecutive day without new infections on Wednesday outside areas under the strictest lockdown measures, as residents waited for an easing of rules currently scheduled for June 1.

US retail sales rose sharply in April as consumers bought more motor vehicles due to an improvement in supply and increased spending in restaurants.

Reflecting overall positive attitudes to risk sentiment, Asian stocks were higher on Wednesday after an overnight rally on Wall Street

The dollar fell 0.2% against the Japanese yen, although data showed that the Japanese economy contracted in the first quarter but still exceeded expectations.

The Australian dollar nearly managed to hold out after the country reported modest wage growth in the first quarter, having changed little at $0.70255.

Cryptocurrency markets were fairly calm. Bitcoin hovered around $30,000 and stayed a fraction below that, down 1.5%.

(Reporting by Alun John; editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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Amanda Peterson: Amanda is an economist turned blogger who provides readers with an in-depth look at macroeconomic trends and their impact on businesses.

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