Credit Suisse: Pound Sterling a Buy against Euro and Dollar

- Credit Suisse are buyers of GBP dips
- Vaccination programme tipped to underpin UK currency
- 1.3550 is buy zone for GBP/USD
- 1.0989 for GBP/EUR

Exchange rates

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  • GBP/EUR spot rate at time of writing: 1.1085
  • Bank transfer rate (indicative guide): 1.0797-1.0875
  • FX specialist providers (indicative guide): 1.0912-1.1000
  • More information on specialist rates here

The British Pound has edged higher against the Euro on Thursday, but a reading of the broader foreign exchange landscape suggests the gains have more to do with a broader-based pullback in the Eurozone's single currency as opposed to any Sterling-specific strength.

The Pound-to-Euro exchange rate (GBP/EUR) moved higher by a third of a percent to quote at 1.1075 as it looks to snap a run of three consecutive daily declines, the Pound-to-Dollar exchange rate meanwhile retreated further from Monday's two-year highs to reach 1.36.

However, foreign exchange strategists at a leading Swiss investment bank say they are looking through the current weakness in the Pound and view bouts of weakness as a chance to buy the currency in anticipation of gains.

"The UK's covid wave has dulled post Brexit enthusiasm for the GBP, not to mention our growing debt pile. On the flip side the UK is doing a significantly quicker job of vaccinating its people and positioning is pretty light," says Jonathan Pierce, a foreign exchange strategist at Credit Suisse.

The soft start to the new year for Sterling - particularly against the Euro - comes amidst a combination lacklustre enthusiasm to the signing of an EU-UK trade deal and concerns over the flaring of the covid-19 pandemic in the UK. Movement in the Pound-Euro exchange rate has been relatively unremarkable, with the pair being confined to a band of action centred around a fulcrum at 1.11.

In short, movement either side of this level tends to fizzle out before long, be it to the upside or downside.

Pound to Euro rate

Above: GBP/EUR price action in 2021. Offer: Get a money transfer rate just 60 pips away from the market, learn how here.

But, foreign exchange strategists at investment bank Credit Suisse are looking to buy Sterling weakness with Pierce saying the UK's focus on rolling out the covid-19 vaccines should benefit the currency in the near-future.

Thursday will likely see the UK release its latest official vaccination figures, with some media reporting that a notable pick-up in vaccinations will be reflected now that the Oxford-AstraZeneca candidate has been rolled out.

However, it is believed the UK will need to hit a target of at least two million vaccinations per week if enough headway is to be made for restrictions to be lifted by the end of February.

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Jim Reid, an economist with Deutsche Bank says the global economic story of 2021 will revolve around the success of vaccines, and that on this front the UK has a strong track record.

Reid says that the UK distributed 15MN flu jabs in the 2019/20 season and has one of the highest uptakes of the influenza vaccine among those aged 65 and above.

"Given the urgency of the situation relative to the normal flu season it doesn’t seem a complete logistical mountain to climb to get close to the goal ... we climb smaller ones every year with a minimum of fuss," says Reid

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the head of the NHS in England Simon Stevens on Thursday offered further insights into the country's vaccination programme in a media briefing, where Johnson said 1.5 million people had been vaccinated and that a significant ramp up in the programme was underway.

This is an increase of 200K in a day, suggesting the UK could already be approaching a run rate of 1.4 million a week.

Credit Suisse hold a constructive near-term stance on Sterling, with strategists maintaining a "bias to buy GBP on dips" strategy.

Pierce is looking at 1.3550 in GBP/USD as a level at which buying Sterling becomes attractive in anticipation of a renewed push higher.

For GBP/EUR that level comes in at 1.0989.

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