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Pound to Swiss Franc (GBP/CHF) Exchange Rate Edges Higher as Swiss Retail Sales Fall Below Forecasts in June

July 31, 2020 - Written by John Cameron

GBP/CHF Exchange Rate Rises as Swiss Coronavirus Cases Increase

The Pound to Swiss Franc (GBP/CHF) exchange rate rose by 0.4% today, with the pairing currently fluctuating around 1.19Fr.

The Swiss Franc (CHF) suffered today following a worse-than-expected Swiss Retail Sales report for June. Retail sales fell from 6.2% to 1.1%, despite a forecast of 3.9%.

As a result, Swiss Franc investors have become more concerned about the nation’s ability to recover its economy in the months ahead.

The Swiss Federal Statistics Office commented on the data:

‘Real turnover adjusted for sales days and holidays rose in the retail sector by 1.1% in June 2020 compared with the previous year. Real growth takes inflation into consideration. Compared with the previous month, real, seasonally adjusted retail trade turnover registered a decline of 3.8%.’

Meanwhile, CHF investors have remained cautious as coronavirus cases soared by 40% in Switzerland this week. The number of cases increased by 1,078, above that of 772 recorded in the previous week.

Pound (GBP) Edges Higher as UK Housing Prices Exceed Forecasts

The Pound (GBP) rose against the Swiss Franc (CHF) today after the Nationwide Housing Prices figure for July beat forecasts and rose by 1.7%. This has provided a glimmer of hope for Britain’s economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide's chief economist, commented on the report, saying:

‘Behavioural shifts may be boosting activity, as people reassess their housing needs and preferences as a result of life in lockdown. Moreover, social distancing does not appear to be having as much of a chilling effect as we might have feared, at least at this stage.’

Meanwhile, Sterling investors have remained cautious after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that he would be delaying the easing of Covid-19 lockdowns scheduled on 1st August.

As a result, GBP traders are feeling more cautious as, yet another uncertainty threatens the UK economy.

Mr Johnson said it was time to ‘squeeze that brake pedal in order to keep that virus under control.’

Meanwhile, Pound traders are turning their attention to Brexit developments. However, with no signs of clear progress towards a UK-EU trade deal ahead of September, Sterling traders are beginning to feel nervous on the prospect of a possible no-deal.

GBP/CHF Outlook: Could a Stronger-Than-Expected Manufacturing PMI Boost Sterling?

Swiss Franc (CHF) investors will be looking ahead to Monday’s release of the latest Swiss CPI figures for July. Any improvement would prove CHF-positive.

Meanwhile, the Swiss Franc (CHF) will remain sensitive to global risk sentiment. If US-China trade tensions escalate, then we could see CHF benefit from its safe-haven status.

Sterling traders will be awaiting Monday’s release of the latest Manufacturing PMI for July. If this confirms consensus and holds at 53.6, then we could see the Pound benefit from a stronger-than-expected manufacturing sector.

The GBP/CHF exchange rate could begin to slip next week, however, if the UK’s coronavirus situation shows any further turns for the worst.
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