EU opinion polls push Sterling higher across the board
Yesterday Sterling experienced gains unseen since the announcement of the EU referendum, as the latest IPSOS Mori poll showed 55% of participants backed a vote to remain. This poll, along with promising unemployment data from the UK meant Sterling strengthened against both the Dollar and the Euro. GBPUSD gained over 2 big figures, whist the Euro has broken the key 1.3000 threshold for the first time in three months.
Wednesday’s IPSOS Mori poll reinforced the data released by YouGov on Tuesday, showing the British voters are swaying further towards a vote to stay in the EU. The key concern of a potential ‘Brexit’ is the impact it could have on the British economy, however the poll does show that the public believe the UK will have a better ability to make decisions in its own interest if the vote is in favour of leaving. With just five weeks until the referendum, there is no guarantee that Sterling will manage to hold at these levels. Expect pro-Brexit campaigners to attempt to strengthen their backing in the upcoming weeks, leading to further Sterling volatility.
Today, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) will release April’s monthly retail sales figures. The data is predicted to show an increase in sales by 0.6%, up from the -1.6% figure in March. If the data comes in worse than expected, however, GBPEUR will likely drop below the 1.3000 mark.
The Dollar strengthened on Wednesday evening, after the minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting were more hawkish than expected. The Fed minutes showed that most members saw an interest rate increase at the June meeting if economic conditions warranted it. The Fed will look for second quarter growth, an improving labour market and inflation moving towards the 2% level to justify the decision at the June meeting.
GBPUSD had found support at the 1.4400 level in European session, before the Pound strength pushed the pair to fresh two week highs of 1.4635 leading up to the release of the Fed minutes. The Greenback firmed up after the release and overnight, clawing back some of the losses. It opened this morning at 1.4598. The Dollar posted significant gains against the European common currency, opening this morning at 1.1216.
The Euro weakened dramatically against the Pound in yesterday’s European trading session as the April Consumer Price Index (CPI) printed at -0.2% for a second consecutive month. As a result, the single currency ended the day nearly 2% weaker versus the Pound. Sterling has gained a total of 5.49% since April 7th, where the the pair were trading near the 1.2300 level. The monthly ECB Monetary Policy Meeting Accounts are released today and we can only assume this will add to volatility.
Data to watch: 9.30am UK April Retail Sales & Retail Sales excl Fuel – Year on Year & Month on Month. 12.30pm EU Monetary Policy Meeting Accounts. 1.30pm US Initial & Continuing Jobless Claims. April Chicago Fed Activity Index. May Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index. 2.15pm Fed’s Fischer Speech. 3pm April CB Leading Indicator Month on Month.