EUR/GBP Moves Further Away From YTD Low After Lagarde’s Remarks, Lacks Follow-Through

The EUR/GBP cross attracted some buyers near the 0.8585-0.8580 region on Thursday and, for now, seems to have snapped a four-day losing streak to a fresh YTD low touched the previous day. Spot prices add to the modest intraday gains and climb above the 0.8600 mark during the first half of the European session, though any meaningful recovery still seems elusive.

The shared currency draws some support from the recent hawkish comments by several European Central Bank (ECB) officials, backing the case for additional rate hikes in the coming months, and the EUR/GBP cross is gaining some positive traction. The bets were reaffirmed by ECB President Christine Lagarde on Thursday, saying that we need to continue our hiking cycle until we are sufficiently confident that inflation is on track to return to our target promptly.

This, to a larger extent, overshadows softer-than-expected Eurozone consumer inflation figures. The latest data published by Eurostat showed that the annual Eurozone Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) decelerated from the 7.0% YoY rate to 6.1% in May, missing consensus estimates for a reading of 6.3%. Furthermore, the Core HICP inflation dropped to 5.3% YoY in May as against market expectations for a modest downtick to 5.5% from the 5.6% in the previous month.

Meanwhile, the upside potential for the EUR/GBP cross seems limited amid expectations for further policy tightening by the Bank of England (BoE), which might continue to underpin the British Pound. The markets now predict the interest rate in the UK to reach 5.5% by the autumn, and the bets were lifted by stronger UK consumer inflation figures released last week. This, in turn, warrants some caution before positioning for any meaningful appreciating move for the cross.

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