GBP AUD Pushes Further on Isolation Cut Talk

GBP AUD Pushes Further on Isolation Cut Talk

The GBP AUD exchange rate was higher on Monday as the UK Prime Minister was looking at cutting the isolation time of the virus from seven days to five. The move could boost the economy and help to ease staff shortages in the healthcare sector. The day ahead will see Aussie trade balance figures and UK retail sales numbers.

The GBP to AUD is trading at 1.8920 and the UK has GDP numbers later in the week, alongside Australian home sales data.

Trade figures and retail sales ahead for Pound v Aussie

The Australian trade balance figures are released on Tuesday with a dip expected from A$11,2 billion to A$10.6 billion.

Retail sales down under are expected to also drop with a reading of 3.9% expected from last month’s 4.9%. The UK will also see retail sales released, but footfall has been slowing on the recent virus restrictions.

China was set to release trade figures with Australia’s most important trade partnered expected to show a 37% jump in imports ahead of the Lunar New Year. That could boost the Australian economy if the country was seen importing further commodities.

UK ministers seek to cut the isolation period and live with virus

The pound sterling is being supported by talk that Prime Minister Boris Johnson is looking to cut the isolation period from seven days to five.

The PM’s spokesman said: “It is something we want done soon.”

“But what is important is that we don’t prejudge the conclusion, and that we allow those that are looking at this to consider the evidence base and provide thorough advice.”

He added that the government “would want to act quickly” if it is possible to “go further”, but “it needs to be based on the latest evidence”. That work is still ongoing. We certainly have not received any further updated advice.”

Ministers are also talking about the move from a pandemic to an endemic, with Nadhim Zahawi, former vaccines minister, saying: “I hope we will be one of the first major economies to demonstrate to the world how you transition from pandemic to endemic”.

Michael Gove poured some cold water on that prediction, but did say it could happen soon.

“We are moving to a situation where it is possible to say that we can live with covid and that the pressure on the NHS and on vital public services is abating. But it’s absolutely vital to recognise that we are not there yet.”

Western Australia’s premier Mark McGowan was more aggressive with a warning to unvaccinated Aussies.

“Life is about to get very difficult for you… it’s a big encouragement to go and get yourself vaccinated” he said.

Food shortages are being seen in Australia due to the lockdown damage to supply chains.

“With the sheer number of cases in the rest of the country right now, it is placing pressure on supply chains across a number of industries,” McGowan said.