Sterling up slightly after better than expected Retail Sales

Retail Sales

Good morning. We’ve just seen the latest UK Retail Sales numbers, which came in significantly above forecast at 1.6%. Markets only expected a gain of 0.7%, so the better result has helped the Pound gain slightly against the Euro. This week we did predict that it was likely the prior poor reading was largely due to the ‘Beast from the East’, and it looks like that was indeed the case.

My colleague Michael pointed out earlier this week that we thought the actual Retail Sales reading would be better than markets expected, and that’s what we’ve seen this morning. Despite the good numbers, the Pound has only gained by a small amount, and that’s due to the uncertainty about Brexit is we talked about in yesterday’s post.

What next for the Pound/Euro rate?

Next up for the UK is tomorrow morning’s Gross Domestic Product figures. Markets are only expecting modest growth of +0.1%, however I think we could see a slightly larger number of 0.2%/0.3%. If so, then it might help the Pound a little, however I think any gains will be limited. Investors want to know about future customs arrangements between the UK and EU, and while that issue remains, it’s likely that Sterling will remain flat.

Indeed the GBP/EUR rate has been stuck around €1.14 now for over a week. Those that need to convert Pounds to Euros or any other currency in the short-term are probably unlikely to see much improvement. However, it’s worth noting that the current levels are only about 2 cents below the best we’ve seen in around a year, so it’s not too bad.

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