Sterling found itself under pressure once again on Thursday as UK cases of the Omicron variant are spreading faster than previously predicted by experts. The number of new Omicron infections in the UK has nearly doubled in one day after a further 249 cases of the new COVID-19 strain were detected. On Wednesday after the Prime Minister announced the introduction of Plan B restrictions in England, Boris Johnson warned that the Omicron variant is “growing much faster” than the Delta variant. In an interview with Sky News, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said that “based on a doubling rate of two-and-a-half to three days, the UK could hit around one million infections in the community by the end of the December”. The uncertainty surrounding the new variant is having a negative effect on the Pound, which fell further against the Dollar and Euro again on Thursday.
After starting the session at 1.3205 GBPUSD struggled, closing finally at 1.3192.
GBPEUR in contrast was able to gain subtle upside yesterday. The pair opened at 1.1665 and closed at 1.1686.
EURUSD struggled on Thursday due to a weaker Euro. The pair opened at 1.1320 and closed at 1.1288.
The UK this morning published October’s GDP numbers. GDP 3-Month Average missed expectations by 0.1%, printing a final figure of 0.9%. The YoY figure was forecasted at 4.9% but came in at a disappointing 4.6%. UK Industrial Production also disappointed this morning, printing a final number of 1.4%, 0.8% under forecast. At 09:05, ECB President Christine Lagarde gave a speech, but it did little impact markets. Across the pond, at 13:30 the US will release its latest inflation data. Core Inflation is expected at 4.9% while the Inflation Rate is forecasted at 6.8%. Then at 15:00, December’s Preliminary Michigan Consumer Sentiment will be released.