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Market Update

This afternoon we have seen GBP climb back above 1.39 against the Dollar & stay above 1.15 against the EUR with extended optimism that Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown on Monday 22nd February will be more positive than initially expected. As of yesterday, almost 16 million people in The UK have had their first dose of the vaccine. Having met the first target of 15 million people by Mid-Feb the government are now focused on vaccinating another 5 priority groups by the end of April.

On the economic front, UK inflation data beat expectations for January coming in at 0.7% against 0.6% to back up further claims that the economy can bounce back from the past year once restrictions are gradually lifted.

USD experienced some gains over the past 24 hours before falling to further GBP strength this morning. Retail sales smashed expectations for January which were forecast at 1.1%. The figures hit 5.3% again showing positive signs from the Covid vaccination roll out.

The focus for today will be on the jobless data for the U.S, with jobless claims figures looking to improve from last month, further highlighting the recovery with 49,000 jobs being added last month and raising expectations of an economic recovery sooner rather than later.

Yesterday The EU agreed a deal to purchase another 300 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, in an attempt to keep up with both The UK & The U.S in the roll-out of the vaccines. The next step will be to ensure the distribution of the vaccine is as quickly and efficiently as possible to allow lockdown restrictions to be lifted.

Current restrictions across many countries in Europe are currently in place until at least the end of March with Germany still reporting over 10,000 cases per day and over 500 deaths yesterday.

Economically, there are signs of an attempted recovery with inflation figures due out to tomorrow expected to show signs of growth coming out at 0.2% for January.

The unemployment rate for The Euro-Zone has also improved from 3.9% down to 3.6% this morning.

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