EURGBP drops to nearly two-week low, weakens further below 0.8800 mark

  • EUR/GBP drifts lower for the fifth straight day and drops to a nearly two-week low on Tuesday.
  • The GBP’s relative outperformance comes amid rising bets for additional rate hikes by the BoE.
  • The mixed UK jobs data fails to push back against hawkish BoE expectations or lend any support.
  • Speculations for more jumbo rate hikes by the ECB warrant caution for aggressive bearish traders.

The EUR/GBP cross remains under some selling pressure for the fifth successive day on Tuesday and drops to a nearly two-week low during the early European session. The selling bias remains unabated following the release of the mixed UK monthly employment details and drags spot prices below the 0.8800 mark, with bears now eyeing to challenge a technically significant 100-day Simple Moving Average (SMA).

In fact, the UK Office for National Statistics reported that the number of people claiming unemployment-related benefits fell by 11.2K in February, less than the 12.4 decline anticipated. The slight disappointment, however, was offset by a sharp downward revision of the previous month’s reading to show a drop of 30.3K in the Claimant Count Change against the 12.9 fall estimated. Furthermore, the jobless rate held steady at 3.7% during the three months to January as compared to a modest uptick to 3.8%, while the rolling three-month average indicated that the UK wages are cooling. Nevertheless, the data is strong enough to allow the Bank of England (BoE) to hike interest rates again later this month, which continues to underpin the British Pound and exerts downward pressure on the EUR/GBP cross.

Apart from this, a goodish pickup in the US Dollar demand is seen weighing on the shared currency, which further contributes to the heavily offered tone surrounding the EUR/GBP cross. That said, the recent hawkish comments by several European Central Bank (ECB) officials, stressing the need for more interest rate hikes beyond March, could lend some support to the Euro. Traders might also refrain from placing aggressive bearish bets ahead of the ECB monetary policy meeting, scheduled on Thursday. The focus will then shift to the BoE meeting next week, which should help determine the next leg of a directional move for the cross. Hence, any subsequent decline is more likely to find decent support near the 100-day SMA, which should act as a pivotal point ahead of the key central bank event risks.

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