December 15, 2021
GBP/USD: The British currency is weakening against the U.S. dollar. British GDP data published on Friday showed slack growth. The British economy grew by 0.1% in October instead of the expected 0.4%. Accordingly, overall economic growth remains 0.5% below pre-pandemic levels. The service sector grew, but other sectors of the economy contracted. The U.K. economy has slowed considerably, with the negative effects of the new quarantine restrictions still to be felt. Last week on Wednesday, the government introduced a so-called “plan B” under which citizens will work from home if possible, masks will be introduced in closed rooms, and unvaccinated citizens will not be allowed access to public places. All this negative background may force the Bank of England to postpone the interest rate increase, which was expected already at the December meeting of the regulator.
AUD/USD: The Australian currency is showing mixed dynamics against the U.S. dollar. In the absence of significant economic releases, the AUD keeps trading affected by technical factors. Investors will soon monitor the epidemiological situation in the country and wait for the November labor market data this week. The continued spread of the Omicron variant may force authorities to impose additional quarantine restrictions, which, in turn, could hit the Australian economy. The release of positive employment and unemployment data in November could rekindle investor optimism by giving the Reserve Bank of Australia another argument for raising interest rates.
BRENT: Oil prices are rising again. Oil prices are rising amid investors’ optimism, who have so far stopped believing in the serious consequences of the new Omicron wave. Major OPEC players are also in a positive mood. Last week on Friday, Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Alexander Novak said that the cartel and its allies will continue the gradual restoration of oil supply, bringing in additional 400 thousand barrels per day of “black gold” each month. This statement reflects OPEC’s confidence in the current economic situation, so the alliance is likely to stick to its existing agreement and keep increasing oil production.