The pound struck a “softer note” against the euro towards the end of Wednesday evening, with coronavirus continuing to control the exchange rate. New figures regarding unemployment across the eurozone, as well as the latest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Consumer Price Index (CPI), are likely to paint a clearer picture of how the pandemic has impacted the economy.
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The pound is currently trading at a rate of 1.1484 against the euro according to Bloomberg at the time of writing.
Michael Brown, currency expert at Caxton FX, spoke to Express.co.uk to offer insight into the current rates.
He explained: “Sterling ended the day a touch softer against the euro, though rangebound conditions prevailed once again, as investors continued to focus on the coronavirus pandemic and digested the FOMC’s latest policy decision.
“Today, a host of important eurozone data points – including the latest GDP, CPI, and unemployment reports – will be in focus; while close attention will also be paid to the ECB’s policy decision where investors expect policymakers to increase the size of their asset purchases.
“A ‘whatever it takes’ approach from the ECB may help the euro firm.”
In the impending European Central Bank (ECB) meeting, it is hoped that borrowing a rise in borrowing costs across the eurozone will be contained.
According to the Financial Times: “Europe is heading for its deepest postwar recession and government debt levels are expected to balloon.”
Measures set about at the upcoming meeting are hoped to offer some kind of stability for Europe.
The news comes just days after countries across the continent announce a relaxation of some of their stringent lockdown measures.
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In Spain, children are now allowed to play outside for one hour a day between 9 am and 9 pm. Meanwhile, certain non-key workers have been allowed to return to work in a bid to begin restarting the economy.
In France, Prime Minister Édouard Philippe addressed the nation saying: “We have to live with the virus.”
The country will begin to reduce its lockdown as of May 11, which will see children go back to school, retail stores reopen, and public transport resumed.
Restaurants and cafes will remain closed while officials keep an eye on the number of confirmed cases.
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Italy is allowing its citizens to visit their relatives in small numbers and is also planning to restart a number of industries including manufacturing.
Denmark and Norway relaxed measures last week, following suit of neighbouring Sweden which took a more relaxed approach to the pandemic.
In the UK, post-lockdown life remains some way in the distance, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson urging Britons to persevere with measures in place.
He explained that Britain is now “passing through the peak” and that is “how we are now beginning to turn the tide.”
It is not known how this will impact the economy or the pound’s position against the euro in the coming weeks.
For those who were hoping to jet off on holiday in the early summer, it could be a slightly longer wait.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) continues to advise against all non-essential travel for an indefinite period of time, and yesterday holiday firm TUI announced the cancellation of further holidays right up until June.
Despite this, would-be holidaymakers are urged to keep a hold of their euros if they want to get the best rates when switching their money back to sterling.
This comes after many travel money services closed their doors.
Sacha Zackariya, CEO, Change Group International Plc, explained why they made the decision to halt operations, and why it is wise to hang onto any unused holiday cash until lockdown has been relaxed.
“Along with all other bureaus de change and banks, we have now closed all branches,” Zackariya told Express.co.uk.
“We actually made the decision to close them before government restrictions to protect our staff and customers.
“Due to this, unfortunately, there is no easy solution to change your foreign currency at this point.
“I would, therefore, recommend holding on to this leftover currency until your next holiday or if it is somewhere you are unlikely to travel again then exchange it at a later date.
“As international travel restrictions are updated and government policies change we recommend checking our website for updates on this situation.”
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