Pound stable as vaccine worries downplayed
The pound had a mixed week as the EU’s threat to ban vaccine exports took its toll. However, it recovered by the end thanks to renewed optimism for the UK’s vaccine rollout and the economic impact of easing lockdown measures in April.
The EU’s vaccination drive has continued to move slowly, with some trying to place the blame squarely on the bloc’s lack of available vaccines. But it appears slow organisation has been the bigger factor. For now then, the UK’s plans to vaccinate all adults by August remains on track with the UK and EU likely to compromise and senior UK Government sources confirming the country has enough supply to meet its target. This is regardless of the situation in the EU and recently in India, where they’ve temporarily halted vaccine exports.
We’ve also had news that the Modena vaccine should be available within 3 weeks, further increasing hopes that the UK will exit lockdown on schedule.
This is all good news for the pound as the vaccine rollout has been the biggest driver of the currency’s recent strength.
Today sees tentative easing of outdoor restrictions, however, all eyes will be on April 12th when significant chunks of the economy will finally reopen. Last week, Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane stated that this could see the UK experience a “rapid-fire recovery” in the coming months.
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