gbp-british-pound-coin - GBP
  • Pound (GBP) lifted by vaccine rollout optimism
  • UK job market picks up in December
  • Euro (EUR) slipped as inflation weakened
  • Eurozone unemployment in focus

The Pound Euro (GBP/EUR) exchange rate is extending gains for a second consecutive session. The pair settled higher on Thursday +0.1% at €1.1050 after three days of losses. At 05:15 UTC, GBP/EUR trades +0.15% at €1.1067. The pair is on track to lose 1.8% across the week.

The Pound investors continue to focus on covid developments. The UK hit another grim milestone with a record number of deaths, 1,152 whilst new daily infections also remained elevated at 52,612. With few signs of lockdown slowing numbers attention quickly shifted to vaccine news.

1.5 million injections have now been carried out as the government continues to race towards its target of 14 million doses by mid-February. The government has said that the release of lockdown conditions is dependent on a successful vaccination programme.

Separately, the UK job market strengthened in December for the first time in three months before the renewed lockdown. The increase in hiring has generally been attributed to increased business activity, although another national lockdown in January could mean a bumpy recovery ahead.

The Euro came under pressure in the previous session as the US Dollar advanced after a jumper higher in US treasury yields. Yields surged as investors bet on additional US stimulus after the Democrats won a majority in the Senate.

Weaker than forecast inflation in the Eurozone did little to boost demand for the common currency. Headline inflation in the region, as measured by the Consumer price index (CPI) was -0.3% in December, weaker than the -0.2% forecast but in line with the November reading.  Meanwhile core inflation remained steady at 0.2% month on month.

Meanwhile Germany factory orders posted an unexpected jump in November. Orders rose 2.3% compared to a month earlier, smashing analysts forecasts for -0.5% decline. Annually orders shot up 6.3%, beating estimates of 2.1%.

Looking ahead German trade balance and Eurozone unemployment data will be monitored along with covid statistics, tightening lockdown restriction news and covid vaccine rollout updates.