GBP/USD: Pound Sinks Lower With Low UK Retail Sales
  • Pound (GBP) pushes higher, set for weekly gains
  • UK retail sales in focus
  • Euro (EUR) picks up off 20 month low
  • ECB’s Christ Lagarde to speak

The Pound Euro (GBP/EUR) exchange rate is advancing on  Friday, paring losses from the previous session. The pair settled -0.28% lower on Thursday at €1.1875 after rising as much as €1.1929 earlier in the session, a level last seen in March 2020.  At 05:45 UTC, GBP/EUR trades +0.04% at €1.1880. The pair is set to gain 1.45% across the week.

The Pound slipped lower on Thursday as it waited for the next catalyst. The Pound surged across the week after strong labour market data and surging inflation to 4.2% has prompted investors to increase bets that the Bank of England will raise interest rates in the December monetary policy meeting.

Attention will now turn to UK retail sales data. Retail sales are expected to rise 0.5% month on month after falling -0.2% in September. These figures will be closely watched for signs of consumer spending slowing as prices rise. Or will sales surge as consumers do their Christmas shopping early?

If the British Retail Consortium retail sales data is anything to go by sales could be strong in October. Last week the trade body reported a 1.3% increase in sales in October thanks to festive shopping and overseas travel bookings.

Strong retail sales could further cement expectations of a BoE rare rise and lift the pound.

The Euro managed to gain ground against the Pound thanks to US Dollar weakness and despite more dovish commentary from the European Central Bank.

ECB chief economist Philip Lane said on Thursday that the supply chain bottlenecks are not expected to worsen from here and are now expected to ease going forwards. He also said that he doesn’t see inflation moving above the ECB’s expectations.

The Euro fell to a 20-month low against the Pound on divergent central bank expectations. The ECB continues to sound more dovish than its peers.

There is no high impacting Eurozone data due today. Instead attention will be on ECB President Christine Lagarde who is due to speak.