Pound Climbs Amid AstraZeneca's Vaccine Approval; Parliamentary Vote Due
The pound drifted higher against its major counterparts during
the European session on Wednesday, as the authorization of
AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in the U.K. raised
hopes for a return to normalcy.
The UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has
approved AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine for emergency supply in the
UK, with the first doses being released today. The vaccinations may
begin early in the New Year.
The U.K. Parliament will vote on the trade deal agreed with the
European Union on Christmas Eve.
PM Johnson has urged MPs to back the post-Brexit trade deal,
which would help preserve the U.K.'s tariff- and quota-free access
to the EU.
The deal is expected to be passed by both houses of the
Parliament without any hurdles.
On the stimulus front, U.S. lawmakers continue to split over
increased direct payments as proposed by President Donald
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday blocked
Democrats' attempt to pass a bill granting $2000 in direct payments
from $600 to most Americans.
Data from the Nationwide Building Society showed that UK house
prices grew at the fastest pace in six years in December as the
property market remained resilient despite the pandemic.
House prices climbed 7.3 percent year-on-year in December,
following November's 6.5 percent increase. Prices were expected to
rise 6.7 percent.
The pound was higher versus the euro, at a 2-day high of 0.9013.
At Tuesday's close, the pair was valued at 0.9066. The pound is
likely to face resistance around the 0.88 region, if it gains
The pound firmed to a 6-day high of 1.3615 against the greenback
from Tuesday's close of 1.3499. The pound may challenge resistance
around the 1.43 mark.
The pound was up against the yen, at a 2-day high of 140.42. The
pair had finished Tuesday's deals at 139.81. Should the currency
strengthens further, it is likely to test resistance around the
After falling to 1.1921 at 5:00 pm ET, the pound moved up to a
2-day high of 1.2047 against the franc. The pound is seen finding
resistance around the 1.22 mark.
An indicator of future turning points in the Swiss economy
improved in December, but continued to signal subdued activity into
next year in the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, according to
a survey data by the KOF Swiss Economic Institute.
The KOF Economic Barometer rose to 104.3 from 103.7 in November.
Economists had forecast a score of 100.5.
Looking ahead, U.S. pending home sales will be published in the
New York session.