Pound rockets as UK refuses to enter EU vaccine row – Sterling gains against Euro

UK vaccine success ‘got under skin’ of von der Leyen says expert

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The pound strengthened on Friday despite threats by Brussels to block exports of jabs to Britain. The EU is facing intense criticism over its slow rollout, while more than 30 million adults in the UK have received their first dose.

Sterling’s gains versus the euro this year have been largely due to Britain’s faster vaccine rollout, according to analysts, meaning the jab row could affect euro-sterling.

At 12.45pm on Friday, sterling was up 0.1 percent against the euro, at 85.62 pence per euro.

It was on track for a 0.3 percent gain against the euro for the week as a whole.

Versus the dollar, the pound was up around 0.2 percent, at $1.3765.

Jeremy Stretch, head of G10 FX strategy at CIBC Capital Markets, said the vaccine row between Britain and the bloc was having a limited impact on the pound because it had not escalated into a tit-for-tat trade spat.

He said that the euro-sterling pair could head towards 84 pence per euro, as April is typically a strong month for the pound.

Kallum Pickering, senior economist at Berenberg, added: “The economic wheel of fortune seems to be turning back in the UK’s favour.

“A successful vaccine rollout, aggressive policy support and a solid global backdrop set the stage for at least two years of rapid economic rebound from the massive pandemic shock of 2020.

“We expect a strong consumer-led recovery from spring onwards as savings normalise, face-to-face services re-open and manufacturers step up production to meet rising demand.”

It comes as talks between the UK and the EU are continuing with the aim of securing a “win-win” solution on Covid vaccines.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We continue to talk and work with the EU to ensure we have a reciprocally beneficial relationship, and to ensure we are collaborating on COVID-19.

“We have said before that it is an international effort and that openness and global co-operation will be key to overcoming this pandemic.

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“We have said before that it is an international effort and that openness and global co-operation will be key to overcoming this pandemic.

“So our work and our talks with the EU continue.”

At the European Commission’s daily press briefing, a spokeswoman described the discussions with the UK as covering a “broad range of matters”.

She said: “There are no updates at this stage that we can provide regarding the talks between the UK and the European Commission on the matter of vaccine deliveries.

“Last week, we issued a joint statement emphasising our interest in continuing the (discussions) about finding ways out which are win-win and which rely on co-operation and the delivery and the maintenance of supply chains which are beneficial for the two partners and for the rest of the world.

“There is nothing else that we can announce other than what we have been saying since that talks continue and they cover a broad range of matters regarding vaccines and vaccine production.

“They’re not limited to one specific vaccine or to one specific manufacturing site, but they are very broad and they pertain to our co-operation and joint work on vaccines and supply chains.”

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