pound-sterling-gbp-coin - GBP
  • Pound (GBP) eases lower despite COVID rules ending early
  • BoE Andrew Bailey to speak
  • Euro (EUR) rises on USD weakness
  • ECB speakers & economic forecast in focus

The Pound Euro (GBP/EUR) exchange rate is ticking a few points lower, extending losses from the previous session. The pound fell -0.15% on Wednesday, settling at €1.1843 after rising as high as €1.1889 earlier in the session. At 05:45 UTC, GBP/EUR trades -0.02% at €1.1841

The pound fell mildly lower in the previous session despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson speeding up the plan to end all COVID restrictions. As from the end of February, people in England will no longer be legally required to self-isolate if they test positive for COVID. England will become the first major economy to remove legal requirement for COVID and replace them with guidance in part of the government’s living with COVID plan.

The rule had been set to end on March 24. However, the government has brought this forward by almost a month. There are concerns that the removal of the self-isolation period could see cases, which have dropped to around 60,000 a day, will start to rise again.

Once again the UK economic calendar is very quiet on Thursday, with no high impacting data due. Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey is due to speak and could provide some clues over the rate at which the BoE intends to raise interest rates over the coming years.

The euro found some support in the previous session on the back of a weaker US dollar. The dollar lost ground after Fed Bostic said that inflation could be on the cusp pf a slowdown. The euro trades inversely to the US dollar.

The German trade balance surplus fell to a lower than expected €7 billion in December, from  €12 billion the month earlier. This marks the fifth consecutive decline, as exports increased by 14%  and imports rose faster by 17.1%.

Today there is the European commission economic growth forecasts and speeches from several ECB members, which will be closely watched after the ECB’s hawkish twist last week and back track this week. The European Commission also releases its economic forecasts.