- Pound (GBP) steadies after upbeat retail sales
- UK EU vaccine truce underpins GBP
- Indian Rupee (INR) set for weekly gains, RBI calms covid fears
- WTI drops almost 5% across the week
The Pound Indian Rupee (GBP/INR) exchange rate is ticking a few points lower on Friday. The pair closed higher on Thursday for the first time in 5 consecutive sessions, settling +0.46% at 99.79 towards the high of the day. At 08:45 UTC, GBP/INR trades +0.1% at 99.41. The pair is on track to book weekly loss of -0.7% its fourth consecutive losing week.
The Rupee is set for weekly gains despite covid cases surging to a 5 month high and some towns and cities in India being put back under lockdown.
New daily covid cases reached over 50,000 on Thursday. However, the Reserve Bank of India Chief aimed to calm nerves by saying that he believes that the revival of the India economy will continue unabated.
Looking ahead attention will be on the central bank’s foreign exchange reserves. The data comes 10 days after India’s FX reserves surpassed Russia’s to become the world’s fourth largest.
Oil prices have been supportive of the Rupee across the week. Both oil benchmarks shed over 4% in the previous session on fears over future demand amid rising covid cases. West Texas Intermediate is set for 5% losses across the week, its third straight week of losses despite the vessel running aground in the Suez Canal, suspending oil traveling along the key trade corridor.
The Pound is holding its ground following upbeat retail sales. UK sales rose 2.1% month on month in February, rebounding after falling -8.2% in January. The data suggests that consumers are getting back into the habit of spending ahead of the economy reopening.
The data comes after the Pound rebounded on Thursday, lifted in part by the news that the EU and the UK had agreed to co-operate to create a win win situation amid the ongoing dispute over covid vaccine supplies.
The UK’s vaccine rollout programme has been a success story so far. 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.