GBP/EUR UK Retail Sales Soar Despite Consumers Being Squeezed
  • Pound (GBP) rebounds after week of selling
  • Retail sales due to rebound in February +2.1%
  • Euro (EUR) tanked on USD strength & vaccine woes
  • European Council Meeting developments eyed

The Pound Euro (GBP/EUR) exchange rate is extending gains for a second consecutive day . The pair settled +0.77% higher on Thursday at €1.1671, at the high of the day and snapping a four session losing streak. At 05:15 UTC, GBP/EUR trades +0.1% at €1.1685. The pair is on track to book a mild gain of 0.2% across the week.

The Pound rebounded on Thursday boosted by the news that the EU and the UK government had agreed to work to create a win win situation for both sides amid the ongoing dispute over vaccine supplies.

The UK’s vaccine rollout programme has been a global success story. However, a row with the EU which threatened to stop vaccine exports to the UK could have put a sudden halt to the vaccine rollout.

Today attention will be back on the economic calendar with the release of UK retail sales. After slumping -8.2% month on month in January, a slight rebound in sales could be on the cards even though lockdown restrictions continue. Analysts are expecting retail sales to rise 2.1%.

The biggest drag is likely to be bars and restaurants which can only start reopening  their doors in a limited fashion next week. A disappointing read could drag on the Pound, although with the economy moving towards reopening, there is a good chance that January was a low point.

The Euro came under pressure in the previous session as the US Dollar surged. The Euro trades inversely to the greenback.

Upbeat German consumer sentiment data was insufficient to pull the Euro out of the red. German GFK consumer confidence data jumped to -6.2 in April, up from -12.2 in March amid the easing of the hard lockdown. However, a third wave and further restrictions are set to weigh on the mood going forward.

There is no high impacting Eurozone data, instead investors will continue eyeing developments at the European Council Meeting regarding the vaccine rollout.