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GBP/EUR hits €1.16 on dire Eurozone retail sales figures

currency-newsGBP/EUR hits €1.16 on dire Eurozone retail sales figures
The euro came under significant pressure on Thursday as the Eurozone’s latest retail sales figures made for grim reading.
 
Meanwhile, the pound is trading in a narrow range this morning, with GBP/EUR flat at €1.1610 and GBP/USD muted at $1.3859. GBP/CAD is subdued at C$1.7570, while GBP/AUD and GBP/NZD hold steady at AU$1.8030 and NZ$1.9369, respectively.
 
Looking ahead, the focus today will be on the latest US payroll figures. Will a bump in employment growth help to boost the US dollar?
 

What’s been happening?

The euro suffered a sharp selloff yesterday, mostly in response to some extremely disappointing retail sales figures from the Eurozone.
 
Sales growth in the bloc collapsed from 1.8% to –5.9% in January, a much larger slump than the 1.1% contraction that had been forecast, and also the worst sales figures since April last year during the Eurozone’s first full month of lockdown.
 
The pound, meanwhile, was able to make some convincing gains on Thursday, amidst growing UK economic optimism as investors continued to digest Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s 2021 Budget.
 
Aiding Sterling was also the news that the US has agreed to suspend tariffs on certain UK goods, while the two sides seek to ease trade tension brought about by the decades old trade row over government subsidies to Boeing and Airbus.
 
At the same time, the US dollar retreated through the first half of yesterday as a pullback in US Treasury yields saw the currency lose a key pillar of support.
 
However, these yields and the US dollar were catapulted higher later in the session after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reiterated the Fed’s dovish stance.
 

What’s coming up?

Top of the agenda today will be the publication of the latest US non-farm payroll release.
 
Economists are forecasting that after a poor start to the year, February’s figures will show a robust expansion in payrolls, an outcome which could help the US dollar recoup some of yesterday’s losses.
 
In the meantime, the publication of Germany's factory orders figures could provide some support for the euro today after data printed earlier this morning revealed orders rebounded at the start of 2020.
 
For GBP investors the focus is likely to be on the UK’s latest coronavirus statistics as infection levels will need to continue to fall if the government is to pursue its easing of lockdown measures in the coming weeks.
Philip McHugh

Philip McHugh

Joining the corporate trading desk in 2007, Phil now over sees all of Currencies Direct’s corporate dealing activity. Having gained experience working with hundreds of businesses to optimise international payments processes and execute comprehensive risk management strategies, Phil currently works with a portfolio of corporate clients whilst managing Currencies Direct’s overall market exposure

Phil has FCA approval and has completed the Certificate in International Treasury Management (CertiTM)

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