FOREX-Euro, pound slide as strong U.K. data lifts markets

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FOREX-Euro, pound slide as strong U.K. data lifts markets

HONG KONG Reuters - Overnight surges left the euro and pound pretty much in early Asia thanks to good U.K. jobs data and a general improvement in investor sentiment on solid U.S retail sales and hopes of easing the lock-ins in China.

The European common currency was at $1.0563 in early Asia trade after rising 1.1% overnight, its largest day of percentage gains since March.

The pound touched $1.2501 after a 1.4% overnight rally, its best day since late 2020, helped by data showing Britain's jobless rate hit a 48 year low.

The dollar index, which measures the dollar against six peers, was as low as 103.18 in early Asia, its lowest in nearly two weeks.

Carol Kong, a currency strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, said the pound got a boost from the very strong jobs report yesterday, and there has been a slight improvement in the broader risk sentiment in financial markets due to positive news from China on the lock-downs and strong data out of the U.S.

Shanghai has had a three day milestone of three days with no new COVID 19 cases outside quarantine zones, which is the clearest timetable for exiting a lock down the day before.

In April, US retail sales went up as consumers bought more motor vehicles, an improvement in supply and increased spending at restaurants.

There was a surge in overnight equities and the U.S. benchmark Treasury yields gained, and were last at 2.9878%, reflecting the improved risk sentiment. MKTS GLOB Overnight, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said at a Wall Street Journal event that the Fed will keep pushing to tighten U.S. monetary policy until it is clear inflation is slowing.

After Powell said something, the dollar resumed its decline.

The yen was last at 129.28 per dollar, little changed on the day.

The Australian dollar was on the front foot, helped by the improved risk sentiment, and was trading at $0.7035, extending a 0.8% gain on Tuesday.

The minutes from a central bank meeting released on Tuesday helped the Aussie, which the Reserve Bank of Australia will hike interest rates in June.

The markets for cryptocurrencies were relatively quiet. It was barely changed at around $30,400.