The EURGBP exchange rate is 0.15% higher on Friday after the euro added to a strong week with the release of ECB minutes. The bank said that they would only act if rates moved higher ahead of growth and this helped to remove any fears of further stimulus measures being imminent from the central bank.
The EUR to GBP rate is trading just below the 0.8700 level and the Bank of England will release its own quarterly outlook later today.
Construction Can’t Repair Sterling Swoon
The fastest construction pace since 2014 in the UK couldn’t propel the British pound yesterday after a recent unwind in leveraged investment fund bets took the wind out of sterling’s sail.
The IHS Markit construction index printed at 61.7 in March, which was a sharp increase on February’s 53.3 reading. Stronger activity was witnessed in home building, commercial and infrastructure. The sector has been able to reopen and continue with projects despite the country being in lockdown.
The UK’s transport minister Grant Shapps has said this morning that Brits could think about holidays again as the government unveiled details of its traffic light system.
“I’m not telling people that they shouldn’t book some holidays now, it’s the first time I’ve been able to say that for many months, I think everybody doing it understands there are risks with coronavirus,” Shapps said.
“For the first time, people can start to think about visiting loved ones abroad, or perhaps a summer holiday, but we’re doing it very, very cautiously because we don’t want to see any return of coronavirus in this country.”
The comments are less cautious than that of the Prime Minister and his advisors, which only adds to the confusion for would-be holidaymakers. Thousands of Britons are also flying back to the UK from Pakistan in the final hours before it is placed on the government’s ‘red list’.
Italy, Spain Halt AstraZeneca for Under 60s
Italy and Spain are the latest to apply restrictions to the AstraZeneca vaccine as the EU splits over the use of the jab.
The NHS has now cancelled all appointments for the under-30s amidst the confusion as the Moderna vaccine arrives in Wales and Scotland. The company’s boss Dan Staner told newspaper he was “positive” that delivery targets could be met for all of Europe with the UK and other European countries looking to vaccinate millions in the coming weeks.
“The first deliveries are starting in April, and between April and the year’s end, we’re supposed to deliver to the expectations in the contract with the UK Government of 17 million doses, which is enough to cover 8.5 million people.”
UK Health Minister Matt Hancock told Sky News: “The number of people dying from Covid halved in the last nine days and is down 90% from the peak.”
EURGBP is trading at 0.8685 and this week could mark a low for the EURGBP as the British pound failed to capitalise on strength.
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