A darker mood engulfed financial markets on Friday as investors braced for more geopolitical tensions and drama between the United States and China

In a move that rattled global sentiment, China announced plans to impose a national security law on Hong Kong which earned a sharp rebuke from Washington. With US-China trade tensions adding to the horrible bucket list of negative themes draining investor confidence, stock markets could be instore for further pain in the week ahead.

Pound can’t catch a breath as retail sales tumble 

Buying sentiment towards the British Pound evaporated after UK retail sales tumbled by their biggest fall on record in April.

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The volume of retail sales in the United Kingdom dropped a staggering 18.1% last month, dwarfing the 5.2% drop witnessed in March. With sales expected to remain depressed amid the change in spending habits and unfavourable macroeconomic conditions, Sterling could remain an easy target for anxious investors.

Looking at the technical picture, the GBPUSD is trending lower on the daily charts. A breakdown below the 1.2200 support level may open a path back towards 1.2000 which is 200 pips away. Alternatively, the GBPUSD could retest 1.2285 if 1.2200 proves to be a reliable support.

EURGBP eyes 0.9000

The impacts of a weaker Pound are being reflected in the EURGBP as the currency pair makes its way towards 0.9000.

With the outlook for Sterling clouded by Brexit uncertainty and disappointing economic data, the EURGBP is positioned to push higher. Looking at the technical standpoint, a solid daily close above 0.9000 could inspire a move towards 0.9120.

Alternatively, sustained weakness below 0.9000 may open a path back towards 0.8850.

USDCAD remains range-bound

Expect the Canadian Dollar hold its ground against G10 currencies thanks to appreciating Oil prices.

If the Canadian Dollar appreciates in the week ahead, the USDCAD may break above the 1.4050 resistance level with the next point of interest at 1.4250.

Alternatively, sustained weakness below 1.4050 should signal a move towards 1.3850.

Gold poised to shine on geopolitics  

It was a choppy week for Gold as investors juggled with conflicting themes influencing appetite towards the precious metal.

A wave of optimism over a potential coronavirus vaccine weakened the commodity earlier in the week before renewed US-China trade tensions and global growth fears rekindled widespread risk aversion. Investors still remain guarded and on high alert amid growth fears and geopolitical tensions, and this should accelerate the flight to safe-haven destinations like Gold in the week ahead.

Looking at the technical picture, a solid breakout above $1745 may open the doors towards $1760. Alternatively, a move back below $1715 could trigger a decline towards $1680.

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