The British pound is down against the euro on Monday after data showed German investor sentiment improved in February. More broadly, stock markets are down sharply on an escalating number of coronavirus cases outside of China, especially in Italy and Iran.

GBP/EUR was lower by 30 pips (-0.26%) at 1.1919 with a daily price range of 1.1914 to 1.1985 as of 1pm GMT. The currency pair erased small early gains to slide back to touching distance of monthly lows.

Evidence of stabilising confidence in Germany helps the EUR make progress against the GBP

The IFO index for business expectations index rose to 93.4 from 92.9, confounding expectations for a fall to 92.2. Gains were capped by the rising possibility that Europe will be more deeply affected the COVID-19 outbreak than previously thought. Shares listed in Milan have crashed over 5% as the Eurozone’s third largest economy struggles to contain an outbreak in its Northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto.

Austria has halted train traffic to Italy as the country battles an unexpected spike in coronavirus cases. There was a specific concern that two of the passengers on an inbound train from Italy were infected. Italy has reported 219 cases since Friday and 5 people have died of the coronavirus. Analysts are reacting to the Italian government response to shutdown schools, museums and cancel football matches, calling it both proactive and ‘draconian.’

Trade uncertainty keeps GBP down

The pound was mixed on Monday as the UK parliament returns for a short recess in time for Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government to begin trade negotiations with the European Union in a few days. Political pundits are starting to suggest the UK could even get the upper hand from its new tougher demand for a limited Canada-style FTA.

There is not much in the way of UK economic data this week so the impending EU trade talks as well as overall market risk-sentiment due to the coronavirus could be the main drivers for Sterling. The British currency has fallen over -1% against the euro in the past two weeks, mostly owing to trade uncertainty. is a news site only and not a currency trading platform. is a site operated by TransferWise Inc. (“We”, “Us”), a Delaware Corporation. We do not guarantee that the website will operate in an uninterrupted or error-free manner or is free of viruses or other harmful components. The content on our site is provided for general information only and is not intended as an exhaustive treatment of its subject. We expressly disclaim any contractual or fiduciary relationship with you on the basis of the content of our site, any you may not rely thereon for any purpose. You should consult with qualified professionals or specialists before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content on our site. Although we make reasonable efforts to update the information on our site, we make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content on our site is accurate, complete or up to date, and DISCLAIM ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. Some of the content posted on this site has been commissioned by Us, but is the work of independent contractors. These contractors are not employees, workers, agents or partners of TransferWise and they do not hold themselves out as one. The information and content posted by these independent contractors have not been verified or approved by Us. The views expressed by these independent contractors on do not represent our views.