The EUR/GBP pairing experienced a significant downward thrust in Wednesday’s early European trading hours, touching a nadir not seen in a year. This drop was primarily driven by less-than-stellar German PMI figures. Nevertheless, a slight recuperation was evident as spot prices inched upwards, currently showcasing only minor intraday declines and hovering just over the crucial 0.8500 benchmark.
Recent insights from the HCOB survey highlighted a subtle mitigation in Germany’s manufacturing downturn for August. Contrarily, a surprising contraction was observed in the services sector for the said month. Specifically, the HCOB Manufacturing PMI registered at 39.1, which is an improvement from July’s 38.8 and marginally surpasses the anticipated 38.7.
However, the Services PMI presented a more concerning picture, plummeting from 52.3 in July to 47.3 in August— a stark miss from the projected 51.5 and marking its lowest in nine months. This unfavorable data has amplified concerns surrounding a deepening economic slump. Moreover, speculations are rife that the European Central Bank (ECB) may deviate from its pattern of nine straight rate hikes come September. Such speculations have burdened the shared currency, pushing the EUR/GBP pairing downward for two consecutive days. Nevertheless, a dip in the British Pound (GBP) has propped up spot prices, prompting a modest recovery of 15-20 pips from its lowest point.
For South African investors, the dynamics between these major currencies hold importance. The Sterling’s vulnerability is somewhat buffered due to increasing anticipations of additional interest rate hikes from the Bank of England (BoE). Present market indicators suggest an over 80% likelihood of a 25 bps surge at the forthcoming BoE assembly in September. Consequently, the foreseeable trajectory for the EUR/GBP pairing seems bearish, implying that any significant resurgence might be viewed as an opportunity for sellers.