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Pound Rises Despite UK Retail Sales Hitting Their Lowest Levels Since May

Published: 9 Feb at 4 PM Tags: Euro, Dollar, Pound Sterling, America, UK, Eurozone, Australian Dollar, New Zealand Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, China, France, Germany,

Pound (GBP)

The Pound rose today as 18.4% of the UK population have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. As a result, UK markets are more optimistic that mass vaccination could help the nation’s economy recover in the months ahead.

However, today saw the publication of the latest UK BRC Retail Sales data for January, which rose by 7.1%.

Helen Dickinson, the Chief Executive at the BRC, said:

‘January saw retail sales growth decline to its lowest level since May of last year. The current lockdown has hit non-essential retailers harder than in November, with the new variant hampering consumer confidence and leading customers to hold back on spending – especially on clothing and footwear.’

Consequently, UK markets are remaining cautious as retail sales have been severely compromised by Covid-19 restrictions.

Euro (EUR)

The Euro benefited from today’s publication of the latest German exports data for December, which beat forecasts and rose by 0.1%.

Analysts at Reuters were optimistic about the Eurozone’s largest economy and highlighted the reasons for the improvement:

‘German exports rose in December as solid trade with China and the United States helped Europe’s largest economy as it struggles to grow under the restrictions of a lockdown aimed at suppressing the COVID-19 case load.

‘Seasonally adjusted exports edged up 0.1% on the month after an increase of 2.3% in November, the Federal Statistics Office said on Tuesday. Imports fell 0.1% after an increase of 5.4% in the prior month.’

French industrial output also rose in December, further buoying confidence in the Eurozone’s steady recovery despite the bloc’s lag in Covid-19 vaccine rollouts.

US Dollar (USD)

The US Dollar has suffered from positive risk sentiment today, with investors seeking out riskier assets at the expense of the safe-haven ‘Greenback’.

Investors are becoming more confident that US inflation could rise ahead of the $1.9 trillion Covid-19 stimulus package.

Bill Dunkelberg, NFIB’s Chief Economist, said:

‘As Congress debates another stimulus package, small employers welcome any additional relief that will provide a powerful fiscal boost as their expectations for the future are uncertain’.

‘The Covid-19 pandemic continues to dictate how small businesses operate and owners are worried about future business conditions and sales.’

Canadian Dollar (CAD)

The Canadian Dollar benefited from rising oil prices today, with WTI crude increasing to $58 per barrel.

Australian Dollar (AUD)

The Australian Dollar has been underpinned by risk-on market mood today, with investors turning to the risk-sensitive ‘Aussie’ as the outlook for the global economic situation improves.

National Australia Bank’s business confidence also rose, buoying the AUD.

New Zealand Dollar (NZD)

Similarly, the New Zealand Dollar has benefited from positive risk sentiment, with the ‘Kiwi’ gaining ground against its peers as more and more countries rollout Covid-19 vaccines.

As of Tuesday, 9th February 2021, the Pound Sterling currency rates mentioned within this news item were as follows:

GBP EUR exchange rate was 1.1402, GBP USD exchange rate was 1.3816, GBP AUD exchange rate was 1.7848, GBP NZD exchange rate was 1.9078, GBP CAD exchange rate was 1.7542, and GBP CNY exchange rate was 8.8907.
Dominic Lee About Author: (474 Posts)With over ten years experience as an economist – including four years spent as a chief economist with a major currency broker – Dominic has acquired a wealth of knowledge which he uses to forecast market movements. Dominic now works as an independent business advisor and writes for several financial publications.

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