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European session review: GBP mostly higher, supported by UK’s retail sales data

TimeCountryEventPeriodPrevious valueForecastActual
06:00GermanyProducer Price Index (YoY)August-1.7%-1.4%-1.2%
06:00GermanyProducer Price Index (MoM)August0.2%-0.1%0%
06:00United KingdomRetail Sales (YoY) August1.4%3%2.8%
06:00United KingdomRetail Sales (MoM)August3.7%0.7%0.8%
08:00EurozoneCurrent account, unadjusted, bln July17.3 25.5

GBP rose against most other major currencies in the European session on Friday, as investors cheered the data, which showed that the UK’s retail sales rose for the fourth consecutive month in August, surpassing the February’s pre-pandemic level. 

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported the UK’s retail sales volume increased 0.8 percent m-o-m in August, following an upwardly revised 3.7 percent m-o-m surge in July. It was the fourth straight monthly increase in retail sales and exceeded economists’ forecast for a 0.7 percent m-o-m gain. When compared with February’s level, total retail sales were 4.0 percent higher in volume terms. In y-o-y terms, retail sales grew 2.8 percent after increasing 1.4 percent in July. However, this was slightly weaker than economists' forecast of a 3 percent advance.

However, the further gains of the pound remained capped by the increased probability of a no-deal Brexit, prospects of negative interest rates, growing coronavirus cases, and concerns over a rise in unemployment.

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