Retail Sales takes focus for UK

25 April, 2014

Rob Bastin

As the short week comes to an end the Pound finds itself comfortable at near peak levels against its majors. Rates for buying Euros close today just half a cent away from a 2 months high and the USD remains weak with buying levels also just half a cent off the best rates seen since 2009.

Sterling was supporting in yesterday’s trading by stronger than expected CBI Distributive Trades Survey figures that came out at nearly double the forecast of 17 with an actual figure of 30. Pressure was also on the Euro yesterday after the ECB president Mario Draghi gave a speech in Amsterdam where he re-iterated that the ECB could still cut rates further and that the ECB is committed unanimously to using both unconventional and conventional instruments to deal effectively with the risks of a too prolonged period of low inflation”.

Across the pond yesterday lunch time the US announced some very positive durable goods orders figures which were posted at 2.6% growth compared to a forecast 2%, subsequently seeing the greenback fight back some intraday lost ground against both the Euro and Sterling.

Today we finish the week with a key UK release at 9:30am in the form of the latest Retail Sales figures. With rates poised at peak levels this release will likely see either a dramatic fall in rates or a further squeeze to fresh peaks should the results impress. In an otherwise quiet day the US have a couple of announcements at 2:45pm and 2:55pm with their Markit Services PMI data and Consumer Sentiment figures. Both are forecasting improvements so expect a volatile day for cable.