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British Pound Hits Two-Week High Versus Euro

The news shaping the markets today

The United Nations suspended Russia’s membership from the Human Rights Council. Continued geopolitical tensions sent the US dollar index higher this morning


Japan’s current account surplus narrowed to ¥1,648.3 billion in February, from ¥2,866.0 billion in the year-ago month, lending support to the JPY/USD forex pair this morning.


South Korea’s current account surplus narrowed to $6.42 billion in February, from $8.06 billion in the year-ago period. However, this being the 22nd straight month of surplus sent the KRW/USD pair higher in forex trading this morning.


Argentina’s industrial production rose by 8.7% year-over-year in February, versus a 0.8% decline a month ago. However, the ARS/USD forex pair remained under pressure on US dollar strength.


US consumer credit rose by $41.82 billion in February, versus a $8.93 billion increase a month ago. The Dow Jones climbed 0.25% on Thursday.

 

What’s happening: The British pound remained highly volatile on Thursday, swinging between gains and losses.

What happened: Sterling jumped to a two-week high versus the euro in intraday trading on Thursday.

However, the GBP/EUR pared gains following the release of minutes from the latest European Central Bank meeting.

Why it matters:

The ECB issued minutes from its March meeting, which showed the central bank turning more hawkish. Policymakers said they were looking to roll back stimulus measures at their upcoming meeting on April 10, with inflation in the Eurozone surging to new highs amid rising energy prices.

Eurozone’s inflation accelerated to a record high of 7.5% in March, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sending energy prices sharply higher. Core inflation accelerated to 3.0%.

The US Federal Reserve also released the minutes from its latest meeting, which showed policymakers aiming to shrink the central bank’s balance sheet by $95 billion per month.

The EUR/GBP forex pair also remained under pressure ahead of the upcoming French elections. Expectations of the Bank of England hiking its benchmark interest rate by another 138 bps (basis points) this year also supported the pound.

Sentiment for the sterling was lifted by economic data as well. UK’s labour productivity rose 1.3% in the final three months of 2021, versus a preliminary estimate of 1%. The Halifax house price index also jumped 11% year-over-year in March, following a 11.2% rise in the previous month.

The sterling spiked to about a two-week high of 83.15 pence against the euro during the trading session on Thursday. However, the British currency settled lower at 83.23. The GBP/USD forex pair added around 0.05% to close at $1.3074 on Thursday, after hitting a three-week low in the previous session.

London’s FTSE 100 fell 0.47% to settle at 7,551.81 on Thursday, recording losses for the second session in a row.

What to watch: With no major economic data due for release today, traders will continue monitoring the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

Markets also await the release of economic reports from the UK, including GDP, industrial production and balance of trade on Monday.

The markets today

The Canadian dollar will be in focus today ahead of the jobs report from the country

 

Context: The CAD/USD pair fell on Thursday as investors monitored the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting, which indicated a more hawkish stance by policymakers.

Details: The CAD/USD eased ahead of the presentation of Canada’s federal budget. The forex pair came under pressure after the greenback moved towards a two-year high versus a basket of major peers following the release of the US Fed’s minutes on Wednesday, which showed the central bank looking to move aggressively in a bid to combat inflation. The dollar index settled higher by around 0.2% at 99.75 on Thursday.

Experts project the Bank of Canada to raise its benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points next week.

The price of crude oil, one of Canada’s major exports, also settled lower by 0.20% at $96.03 on Thursday after rising earlier in the session.

The CAD/USD forex pair fell around 0.4% to close at 1.2592 on Thursday, hitting its weakest level since March 21.

What to watch:

Traders await the release of jobs data from Canada today. The Canadian economy, which added 336,600 jobs in February, is expected to add only 80,000 jobs in March. The unemployment rate is expected to decline further to 5.3% in March, from 5.5% in February.

Investors will also keep an eye on the Russia-Ukraine situation and rising covid-19 cases in China, Europe and other regions.

Other Markets: US indices closed higher on Thursday, with the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 up by 0.25%, 0.43% and 0.23%, respectively.

Support & resistances for today

Technical Levels News Sentiment
GBP/USD – 1.3067 and 1.3075 Positive
EUR/USD – 1.0858 and 1.0867 Positive
WTI Crude Oil – 95.86 and 96.59 Positive
FTSE 100 – 7532.72 and 7555.10 Positive
Nasdaq 100 – 14493.98 and 14590.20 Positive

 

Market snapshot

What else to watch today

Spain’s industrial production, Italy’s retail sales, India’s value of deposits, foreign exchange reserves and value of loans, Brazil’s inflation rate, car production, auto sales, current account, and foreign direct investment, US wholesale inventories and Baker Hughes total rigs, Russia’s consumer prices and gross domestic product, South Africa’s SACCI business confidence index, as well as Turkey’s total motor vehicles production.

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