- EUR/GBP reverses bounce off key support confluence on strong UK employment data.
- UK Unemployment Rate stays unchanged but Claimant Count Change drops.
- Divergence between ECB and BoE policymakers may recall pair buyers if EU Q4 GDP improves.
EUR/GBP reverses from intraday high while declining nearly 20 pips to 0.8830 on the upbeat UK jobs report during early Tuesday. In doing so, the cross-currency pair reversed the early-day run-up from the key 0.8830 support confluence.
UK’s Unemployment Rate matches market forecasts and reprints the 3.7% figure for three months to December. However, a slump in January’s Claimant Count Change to -12.9K versus -3.2K prior, as well as strong prints of the Average Earnings Excluding Bonus for the said month seemed to have favored EUR/GBP bears of late.
In contrast to the upbeat UK data, a comparatively more hawkish bias at the European Central Bank (ECB) versus the Bank of England (BoE) joins the upbeat European Commission (EC) economics forecasts to underpin the regional currency’s bullish bias.
On Monday, the European Commission (EC) released its quarterly economic projections for the Eurozone wherein it revised up the economic growth forecast to 0.9% for 2023 from 0.3% previously expected, projecting 2024 growth unchanged at 1.5%. The EC, however, lowered the Eurozone inflation forecast for 2023 to 5.6% YoY from 6.1% earlier expected. Further, the EC also cut 2024 inflation predictions to 2.5% for 2024, versus 2.6% previously anticipated.
That said, European Central Bank (ECB) Vice-President Luis de Guindos said on Monday, “Rate increases beyond March are to depend on data.” On the same line, ECB policymaker Mario Centeno said, “Inflation is going down faster than we expected,” while adding that smaller hikes would need mid-term inflation nearing 2%.
On the other hand, Bank of England’s (BoE) policymaker Jonathan Haskel cited a rise in inactivity in the UK labor market and challenged the British Pound (GBP) buyers previously. BoE’s Haskel also mentioned, “I would prefer to make policy with much more attention on the data flow over the next few months.”
On a broader front, the cautious mood ahead of the top-tier data/events joins softer US Treasury bond yields to favor the mild optimism in the market, which in turn seems to favor the Euro (EUR).
Having witnessed the initial reaction to the British data and EU fundamentals, EUR/GBP pair traders should wait for the preliminary readings of the fourth quarter (Q4) Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data for the Eurozone for clear directions. Given the recently upbeat economic projections from the European Commission and the ECB’s hawkish bias, the EUR/GBP pair is likely to remain firmer unless the EU GDP disappoints.
Unless breaking 0.8830 support confluence comprising the 21-DMA and a one-month-old ascending trend line, the EUR/GBP remains on the buyer’s radar.