GBP/INR is trading sideways at the start of the week. Currently, one British pound buys 94.210 Indian rupees, down 0.01% as of 6:15 AM UTC. The pair has been bearish since the beginning of last week, losing over 1.6% since last Monday. The price touched the lowest level since June 2 a few hours ago, but it hasn’t broken below 94.000, which is a reliable support level.
On Friday, Britain’s retail sales data beat analysts’ expectations by a margin, but it didn’t help the pound. Investors focused on the general pessimism amid talks about an upcoming second wave of the pandemic that might have an even more disruptive impact. Besides this, the UK doesn’t progress in the trade negotiations with the European Union.
UK’s Next Easing Phase Might Help Pound
Still, the sterling can leverage the recent news about UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to reveal another phase of lockdown easing tomorrow. He will also unveil the conclusion on whether the two-metre rule on social distancing should continue.
Britain’s non-essential retails reopened last Monday, but many businesses, especially those operating in the hospitality and leisure sectors, are still closed.
Some members of parliament, including Conservative lawmakers, are against the two-metre rule. They argue that it has had a catastrophic impact on the economy, which tumbled by 25% in March and April.
The PM’s office said that Johnson would announce on Tuesday which sectors would reopen on July 4.
Yesterday, the PM said:
“The disease is increasingly under control. Of course as we make that progress, it will be possible for us to open up more. On social distancing, watch this space and you won’t have very much more to wait now.”
As for India, the country is also gradually lifting restrictive measures, but it doesn’t seem to help the economy. The Retailers Association of India (RAI) said that Indian shoppers are not active. The survey, which involved over 100 large and small retailers, showed that shops and malls saw a 77% drop in sales year-on-year in the first two weeks of June. The worst affected businesses are restaurants and quick-service restaurants.