Momentum continues to carry the pound higher, aided by relatively worse coronavirus news from Europe and the United States than the United Kingdom.
With stock markets pushing mostly to the topside across Europe, there was relatively little demand for francs and presumably based on the multi-year spike in CHF sight deposits, the Swiss National Bank is still intervening to weaken the Swissie.
GBP/CHF was up by 53 pips (+0.51%) to 1.1960 with a daily range of 1.1787 to 1.1975 of 3pm GMT.
The currency pair rallied strongly from mid day in Europe to make fresh 2 ½ week highs and a move beyond 1.195 for the first since March 12.
Pound upwards momentum continues
The pound perhaps got a small uplift from bad consumer confidence that was not quite as terrible as expected. GfK consumer confidence for March came in at -9 versus an expected -15. Commenting on the data GfK said: “While we have a long way to drop before we match the devastating numbers seen in July 2008 when the Overall Index Score crashed to -39 points, lockdown Britain can only expect further deterioration”.
Growth statistics for the United Kingdom that came in line with expectations and had little influence on the pound, only to demonstrate that the UK economy had a standing start going into this crisis with 0% growth. The final reading for UK fourth quarter GDP was 0.0% q/q, in line with preliminary estimates.
A recession is close to guaranteed for the UK across Q1 and Q2. Market data provider Statista currently has declines of -1.6% and -3.9% projected respectively but the Q2 figure could easily worsen if the lockdown gets extended.
Swiss franc pulls back as shares rise
This currency pair is still moving more on investors’ mood to take risk, but economic data from the United Kingdom and Switzerland for March are starting to have a baring.
Switzerland retail sales came in at +0.3% versus 0.1% previously but the data was pretty meaningless since it predates the virus pandemic now ripping through Europe and the rest of the world.