RationalFX: Sterling moved lower against both the EUR and USD on Friday following a record slump in U.K. retail sales and comments from EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier that the U.K. are not seriously committed to trade talks.
Friday’s discouraging retail sales data, showed the volume of sales for March falling by 5.1% as number of businesses closed due to lockdown measures enforced in the U.K.
Market expectation was for a 4% fall in retail activity with analysts expecting the surge in food shopping to ease some pressure on the retail figures but this wasn’t the case.
Any hope of a sterling recovery Friday afternoon was diminished, as EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier provided an update on the weeks trade talks.
Barnier accused the U.K. of dragging its feet and described the weeks talks as “disappointing”, adding that no real progress had been made on the key areas.
With time running out on a trade deal, markets had expected an extension to the transition deadline as a possible and likely eventuality. However, transport minister Grant Shapps poured cold water on these claims reiterating the stance of the U.K. government at the daily coronavirus briefing that the government will not seek an extension of the transition period past the deadline.
Source : ETFWorld.co.uk