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Weekly FX Outlook January 4th




GB Pound

Sterling had another strong week.


Movements

GBPUSD opened at 1.3513, moved gradually higher, climbing above 1.37 for the first time since April 2018 in the early hours of this morning and closed at 1.3679 for a weekly gain of 1.23%.


GBPEUR opened at 1.1025 and started trading higher to flirt with the 1.12 level on Thursday before giving back part of the gain to close with an appreciation of 1.14% at 1.1150.


Movement rationale

Sterling surged to its highest value against the Dollar in almost three years and to a one-month high versus the Euro in the last week of the year, amid thin trading activity in London. Traders weighed up Brexit relief with COVID risk, eventually putting more focus on the first factor. Sterling was in fact relatively insensitive to concerns over rising virus cases within the UK due to the new virus variant, responding last Wednesday to the ratification of Britain's trade and future relationship agreement with the EU. The UK has signed its first trade deal since agreeing a Brexit deal to leave the EU, signing a free trade arrangement worth £18.6 billion last Tuesday with Turkey.

Week ahead

The UK economic data calendar includes the following:


Calendar

Monday 10:30am | Markit Manufacturing PMI (Dec)

Wednesday 3pm | BoE's Governor Bailey speech


US Dollar

Sterling had another strong week.


Movements

GBPUSD opened at 1.3513, moved gradually higher, climbing above 1.37 for the first time since April 2018 in the early hours of this morning and closed at 1.3679 for a weekly gain of 1.23%.


GBPEUR opened at 1.1025 and started trading higher to flirt with the 1.12 level on Thursday before giving back part of the gain to close with an appreciation of 1.14% at 1.1150.


Movement rationale

Sterling surged to its highest value against the Dollar in almost three years and to a one-month high versus the Euro in the last week of the year, amid thin trading activity in London. Traders weighed up Brexit relief with COVID risk, eventually putting more focus on the first factor. Sterling was in fact relatively insensitive to concerns over rising virus cases within the UK due to the new virus variant, responding last Wednesday to the ratification of Britain's trade and future relationship agreement with the EU. The UK has signed its first trade deal since agreeing a Brexit deal to leave the EU, signing a free trade arrangement worth £18.6 billion last Tuesday with Turkey.

Week ahead

The UK economic data calendar includes the following:


Calendar

Monday 10:30am | Markit Manufacturing PMI (Dec)

Wednesday 3pm | BoE's Governor Bailey speech


Euro

The Euro remained well supported.


Movements

EURUSD opened at 1.2254 and traded in a choppy market, initially moving up to hit a new two and a half year high at 1.2310 before triggering a sharp correction down to 1.2210. It eventually ended the week at 1.2267 (+0.11%).


GBPEUR opened at 1.1025 and started trading higher to flirt with the 1.12 level on Thursday before giving back part of the gain to close with an appreciation of 1.14% at 1.1150.


Movement rationale

The Euro closed the year on a positive tone (especially versus the dollar where it reached 1.2309 - highest level since 2018), extending a rally that has endured since May, as the global economy recovers from the pandemic. ECB balance sheet hit a new high at €7,014.7bn (equal to 69% of Eurozone GDP vs Fed's 35%, BoJ's 132% or BoE's 36%) as the central bank maintains its ultra-expansionary monetary measures to fight the pandemic. The market was relatively muted to news that a number of European countries, with Germany in primis, were preparing to extend national lockdowns to battle the new highly contagious mutations of coronavirus.


The Eurozone economic data calendar includes the following:


Calendar

Tuesday 8am | German Retail Sales (Nov)

Wednesday 10am | Markit PMI Composite (Dec)

Thursday 11am | Eurozone Retail Sales (Nov), Consumer Price Index (Dec), Consumer Confidence (Dec)

Friday 11am | Unemployment Rate (Nov)


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