- Pound (GBP) supported after UK retail sales jumps
- BoE could look to hike rates again
- Euro (EUR) supported by risk on trade
- Eurozone consumer confidence due
The Pound Euro (GBP/EUR) exchange rate is holding steady on Friday after gains in the previous session. The pair rose +0.34% on Thursday, settling at €1.1982 after touching €1.20 earlier in the day. At 09:45 UTC, GBP/EUR trades +0.01% at €1.1983.
The Pound is finding support following strong UK retail sales data. UK sales jumped 1.9% month on month in January, rebounding sharply from declines of -3.7% in December as the impact of Omicron declined.
The jump in sales was the largest recorded since April when non-essential shops reopened after lockdown. Analyst had been expecting growth of 1%.
The data, in addition to strong jobs data and a tick higher in inflation are likely to convince the Bank of England that the economy is resilient enough to cope- with a third straight interest rate rate hike possibly as soon as March.
Still, the outlook is less encouraging as inflation is expected to rise to 7.25% by Spring and energy prices are expected to keep rising so big-ticket spending could come under pressure.
There is no more high impacting data due to be released today from the UK.
The Euro is finding support from the risk on mood in the market. US secretary of state Anthony Blinken has agreed to meet with Russian foreign minister Lavrov on Tuesday, which is boosting optimism that diplomacy could still bring a solution to the Russia, Ukraine conflict. At least for now, the prospect of further talks has cooled expectations of an invasion.
Investors will continue monitoring headlines closely. In addition, Eurozone consumer confidence will be in focus. Consumer morale is expected to improve in February to -8 up from -8.5 as Omicron restrictions eased. Although inflation remains elevated at 5.1% which could start to dampen morale as household’s disposable incomes decline.