Pound Euro Exchange Rate Rallies to €1.16 as ECB Maintains PEPP at Current Levels

Pound Euro Exchange Rate Firms as ECB Refrains from Tapering Talk 

The Pound Euro (GBP/EUR) exchange rate is rallying this afternoon, with the pairing climbing roughly 0.3% to €1.1613 as the European Central Bank (ECB) concluded its latest policy meeting. 

The ECB left its monetary policy untouched this month, leaving interest rates at a record low and refraining from altering its Pandemic emergency purchase programme (PEPP). 

While this was not unexpected by EUR, investors, ECB President Lagarde remarks in a subsequent press conference in which she suggested it is too early to begin discussing the bank PEPP exit still came as a blow to EUR exchange rates. 

Original article continues below: 

Pound Euro Exchange Rate Retreats as ECB Rate Decision in Spotlight 

The Pound Euro (GBP/EUR) exchange rate is on the backfoot this morning, with the pairing retreating firmly below €1.16 as investors brace for the European Central Bank’s (ECB) rate decision later this afternoon. 

At the time of writing the Pound Euro exchange rate is trading at around €1.1577, down roughly 0.2% from this morning’s best levels. 

Euro (EUR) Firms as Markets Brace for ECB Rate Decision 

The Euro (EUR) is on the rise against the Pound (GBP) so far this morning as investors await the conclusion of the ECB’s latest policy meeting. 

The ECB is expected to leave its monetary policy untouched this month as the bank seeks to continue supporting the Eurozone’s economic recovery, amidst ongoing uncertainty. 

Patrick Barbe, head of European investment grade fixed income at Neuberger Berman, comments:  

‘There are still major uncertainties. One is the threat of the new Covid-19 strains and resulting economic impacts. Also, financial conditions have been tighter since the March meeting, and the ECB does not want to give a hawkish signal that could further tighten them. Additionally, although service sectors are reopening, the ECB would like to confirm that an activity rebound recreates jobs. 

‘Finally, the pace of a recovery in inflation rates and the ability of the ECB to support a gradual and sustained rise in inflation rates is uncertain.’ 

However, EUR investors will still be on the lookout for any tapering talk as some of the ECB’s more hawkish members have been reportedly pushing for the bank to start scaling back its massive €1.85tn Pandemic emergency purchase programme (PEPP). 

Also of note will be the ECB’s latest economic forecasts, with a more optimistic outlook from the bank likely to bolster the EUR/GBP exchange rate. 

Pound (GBP) Undermined by Brexit Concerns 

At the same time, the Pound (GBP), is struggling to attract investors this morning amidst concerns that crunch talks between the EU and the UK regarding the Northern Ireland protocol may be on the brink of collapse

The dispute is over the UK government’s plans to unilaterally extend the six-month grace period, which will allow supplies to continue to flow between the UK and Northern Ireland unhindered. 

This goes against the protocol signed between the UK and EU last year as part of the Brexit trade agreement and has seen Sterling sentiment weaken, following threats from European commission vice-president, Maroš Šefčovič to take retaliatory action. 

Further undermining GBP exchange rates are reports that US President Joe Biden will warn Boris Johnson not to allow the dispute to affect the Northern Ireland peace process when the two meet later today. 

Pound Euro Exchange Rate Forecast: Upbeat GDP Figures to Lend Support to Sterling 

Looking ahead, the Pound Euro (GBP/EUR) exchange rate could attempt to mount a recovery at the end of this week’s session, with the publication of the UK’s latest monthly GDP release. 

April’s figures are expected to report the UK economic recovery continued to gather pace, bolstering hopes for a strong rebound in growth in the second quarter of 2021. 

However, any upside in the Pound could prove limited as UK coronavirus concerns continue to plague the currency. 

Meanwhile, the latest forecasts from Germany’s Bundesbank could lend support to the Euro if they are broadly upbeat in tone. 

Matthew Andrews

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