The Pound Euro (GBP/EUR) exchange rate recovered from its 11-month lows against after the Bank of England (BoE) cut its interest rates to an all-time low of 0.1%. The Bank also announced £200bn of money creation to help the UK’s economy throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Tom Stevenson, an Analyst at Fidelity International, commented ‘Britain is now a whisker away from the negative interest rate club.’
‘Rates have never been this low in the more than 300-year history of the Bank of England. Purchases of government and corporate bonds have been ramped up. A desperate measure for a desperate situation.’
Sterling also benefited from Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s comment that the UK could send the coronavirus ‘packing’ in little under 12-weeks. This boosted UK market optimism as there appeared to be some light at the end of the tunnel.
The Pound’s market appeal also returned following signs that global markets were heading towards some semblance of stability. However, market jitters did prevent the Pound from making any significant gains against its peers.
The Euro (EUR) began to dip after concerns over Germany’s economy – which is the largest in the Eurozone – began to haunt single currency investors. With the Euro-area now under quarantine we could begin to see the bloc’s economies begin to struggle as export trade deteriorates.
The EUR/GBP has continued to dip today despite the European Central Bank’s (ECB) massive stimulus package.
Lee Sue Ann, an Economist at UOB, commended the ECB’s move, however, saying:
‘In all, we think the ECB has made a fairly aggressive move here… Whilst we think that these monetary policy measures will be better complemented with even more fiscal measures; this is, for now, definitely Lagarde’s “whatever it takes” moment.’
Looking ahead, we could see the GBP/EUR exchange rate begin to shed some of its gains if the UK economy shows any signs of buckling under the coronavirus crisis.
However, with the Eurozone’s economic future uncertain, there may be hope left for the Pound yet.