GBP/EUR: Pound Heads Higher As EU To Mull Over Brexit Extension
  • Pound (GBP) holds steady ahead of manufacturing PMI data
  • BoE’s Huw Pill to speak again
  • Euro (EUR) digests manufacturing PMI
  • Eurozone inflation holds at 5.3% YoY

The Pound Euro (GBP/EUR) exchange rate is holding steady after two weeks of gains. The pair rose +0.41% in the previous week, settling on Thursday at €1.1686 and trading in a range between €1.1628 – €1.1694. At 07:35 UTC, GBP/EUR trades -0.03% at €1.1684.

The pound is looking cautiously ahead to the release of UK manufacturing PMI data, which is expected to show that activity in the sector remains very depressed. The manufacturing PMI is forecast to come in at 42,5 in August, down from 45.3. The level 50 separates expansion from contraction. An upward revision to the preliminary August figure could provide some comport6. However, given that manufacturing accounts for less than 30% of the UK economy, the influence of these figures could be limited.

The data comes after the pound received a boost yesterday from Bank of England’s Chief Economist Huw Pill, who is due to speak again today. Yesterday, Huw Pill spoke in favour of higher interest rates for longer in order to tame inflation. Inflation is currently 6.9% year on year in July, down from 7.8% in June, but is still 3.5 times the BoE’s target 2% level.

The euro is holding steady as investors digest the latest eurozone manufacturing activity data. The manufacturing PMI showed that activity contracted again in August at 43.5, up from 42.7 in July but still worse than the 43.7 preliminary reading.

Despite the slight uptick, new orders dropped sharply to 39, which prompted companies to continue lowering their prices to boost demand. The data shows that while the sector is contracting, price pressures should also be falling.

The data came after eurozone inflation data showed that consumer prices held steady in August at 5.3% year on year. Analysts had expected inflation to cool to 5.1%. Stagnant growth and sticky inflation raises questions over whether the ECB will continue to hike interest rates in September.