GBP/EUR Exchange Rate Increases as UK Supermarket Sales Surge Over Christmas
The Pound to Euro (GBP/EUR) exchange rate rose today, with the pairing currently fluctuating around €1.12.
Sterling rose today following news that Tesco’s Christmas sales jumped by 8.1%. This has buoyed optimism in the UK’s struggling retail sector.
John Moore, senior investment manager at Brewin Dolphin, commented on the report:
‘Supermarkets are one of the few businesses that have managed to trade through everything that Covid-19 has thrown at the economy over the past year – it should perhaps be no surprise then that, like Sainsbury’s last week, Tesco’s has performed well.’
UK markets are also optimistic that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s latest announcement of 24/7 Covid-19 vaccine centres could further speed up the mass vaccination programme.
Today also saw news that England’s pharmacies would also being rolling out the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccines.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock commented:
‘Pharmacies sit at the heart of local communities and will make a big difference to our rollout programme by providing even more local, convenient places for those that are eligible to get their jab.’
In UK economic data, today saw the release of December’s RICS Housing Price Balance, which beat forecasts and rose by 65%.
Analysts at Reuters were downbeat, however, saying:
‘A boom in Britain’s housing market has started to fade, dampened by new COVID-19 lockdowns and the coming expiry of a temporary tax cut for buyers.’
Euro (EUR) Struggles as German GDP Falls in Final Quarter of 2020
The Euro (EUR) struggled today following dovish comments from Christine Lagarde, the European Central Bank’s President.
Lagarde highlighted the problematic single currency exchange rate, adding that the ECB would be ‘extremely attentive’ to the exchange rate and its impact on prices.
Today saw the release of Germany’s GDP data, which fell by -5%, implying a small fall in the final quarter of last year.
The Chairman of the German Council of Economic Experts, Lars Feld, commented:
‘If we can come to a slight easing (of restrictions) again in February or March, then an upswing as strong as in summer 2020 is quite possible in the second quarter.’
EUR investors will be awaiting the release of the minutes of the ECB’s final policy meeting of 2020.
Any comments about the future of the Eurozone’s economy would affect the EUR/GBP exchange rate.
However, if the minutes express a predominately dovish outlook, we could see the single currency suffer.
GBP/EUR Outlook: Could the UK’s Covid-19 Vaccine Programme Boost Sterling This Week?
Pound (GBP) investors will be awaiting tomorrow’s publication of the UK’s GDP data for November.
If this confirms forecasts and falls by -5.7%, we could see Sterling begin to fall as the outlook becomes darker for the UK’s economy in 2021.
Tomorrow will also see the release of the UK Manufacturing and Industrial Production figures for November.
Any signs of either sector struggling would be GBP-negative.
Euro (EUR) traders will be eyeing tomorrow’s publication of the Eurozone’s Trade Balance data for November.
If this points to a significant downturn to the Eurozone’s economy late last year, the single currency will suffer.
The GBP/EUR exchange rate could head higher, however, if the UK’s Covid-19 vaccine programme shows signs of speeding up and meeting its 15th February deadline.