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Sterling hits one year highs against the US Dollar
04 Dec 2020
The pound rallied against the euro and moved to it’s best level for a year against the dollar yesterday as a Brexit conclusion drew nearer.
According to various reports during early Thursday trade UK-EU trade talks were on course for a much needed breakthrough with some reports suggesting the “big push” was underway and that the bulk of the outstanding issues would be ironed out over the next 24 hours. This created optimism amongst investors and saw a flurry of GBP purchasing which lead to a sharp appreciation in cable, causing it to trade at its best level since the 13th December 2019.
The optimism proved to be premature as the pound parred some of its gains late on Thursday as the Brexit pendulum swung back again injecting no deal fears into the market as reports filtered through that negotiations had hit a snag.
British officials commenting on the state of play warned that talks were at risk of going backwards as the European Union have made new demands at the 11th hour with France hardening its position and threatening a veto to a potential Brexit deal. This is significant and follows Wednesday’s news flow which caused sterling to fall to month lows against the euro as French diplomats raised concerns that the EU were offering too many concession and called for the European Union to walk away from talks if the U.K. do not compromise on fisheries.
Countering the British statements, EU officials brushed off the reports stating that the remarks were simply an effort from the U.K. to disguise the fact that the U.K. are offering concessions. Despite this bump in the road, both sides have maintained that a deal remains close with the key outstanding issues remain.
USD – 13:30 – Non Farm Pay Rolls expected to fall to 469k from 638k previous
Brexit anxieties weigh on sterling
04 Dec 2020
Sterling fell to one month lows against the Euro and fell against the US dollar as doubts remain as to whether a post Brexit trade deal can be achieved. Differences remain between the U.K. and EU on the main sticking points which consist of fisheries, state aid and fair competition. Brexit uncertainty overshadowed positive news in regards to Britain becoming the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
Michel Barnier told ambassadors that Brexit talks would be thrust into crisis if a UK legislation expected next week includes clauses that would breach the existing withdrawal agreement.
Furthermore Irish foreign minister also echoed these thoughts and warned if the U.K. did deliberately breach the Brexit divorce accord, it will signal that the U.K. does not want a trade deal with the EU.
EU member states have warned Barnier not to be pushed into agreeing a deal which wouldn’t benefit the EU and would be deemed as unsatisfactory with the deadline looming fast. Sterling is likely to face more volatility as Brexit uncertainty continues to weigh on the currency. Lastly developments over the vaccine which will be available to use next week in the U.K. has been overshadowed by Brexit talks stalling
USD – 1:30 – Unemployment claims – Forecast at 775k from a previous 778k
USD – 3:00 – ISM services PMI – Forecast at 56 from a previous 56.6
Sterling edges higher as Brexit talks enter ‘tunnel’ stage
02 Dec 2020
Sterling climbed to a three-month peak versus the dollar after Times Radio said Brexit trade deal talks had entered the “tunnel” stage of negotiations. The “tunnel” is a term used for an intense final stage of secretive, make-or-break negotiations.
Sterling rose as much as 0.9% to $1.3441, extending gains after the news broke. While negotiators have been in this phase of Brexit talks for several weeks, the jump higher in the pound shows how the market is ready to jump on signs an agreement is in reach. There is renewed optimism that a deal can reached by the end of this week.
This week had been widely billed as the week within which a deal would finally be sealed by negotiators, but Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on Tuesday said talks could go on for a “couple of weeks”.
Breaking News this morning sees the UK as the first western country to license a vaccine against Covid, opening the way for mass immunisation with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to begin in those most at risk next week. The vaccine has been authorised for emergency use by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA), ahead of decisions by the US and Europe. The MHRA was given power to approve the vaccine by the government under special regulations before 1 January, when it will become fully responsible for medicines authorisation in the UK after Brexit.
Yesterday the dollar fell to its lowest level in more than 2-1/2 years, as risk appetite increased on the prospects of further fiscal stimulus from the United States as well as expectations of a solid global recovery. The dollar fell sharply as news of a so called COVID bill, as well as a resumption of talks between U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi later on Tuesday about a stimulus package.
The proposed relief bill was $908 billion and would fund measures through March 31, including $228 billion in additional pay check protection funds for hotels, restaurants and other small businesses.
The news saw currencies that trade higher in times of risk appetite such as the euro, sterling, as well as the Aussie, Kiwi, and Canadian dollars all rose against the USD.
Also weighing on the safe-haven dollar was weaker-than-expected U.S. manufacturing activity data and speculation that the Federal Reserve will act to support the economy before vaccinations become available.
Unemployment data for Italy, Spain, France
German retail Sales
US ADP non farm employment change
Fed Chair Powell Testifies- 4pm
Sterling holds ground despite Scottish referendum uncertainty
30 Nov 2020
Sterling remained at near three-month highs against the Dollar but fell slightly against the Euro late last week, as Brexit talks continued whilst the currency also brushed off talks of a Scottish independence referendum that could cause major uncertainty down the line after Brexit.
Weakness in the U.S. dollar caused by thin trading due to the Thanksgiving holiday boosted sterling, which had been approaching its September high recently on optimism over Brexit talks between Britain and the European Union. News from over the weekend on Brexit came from foreign secretary Dominic Raab who stated the UK is in the last leg of negotiations with the EU over a post-Brexit trade deal.
Raab claimed it was likely the talks were entering the last real major week, and an agreement remained possible if the EU showed pragmatism. Both sides are still calling on one other to compromise over fisheries and state aid.
Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon also said over the weekend that an independence vote should take place in the earlier part of next year. PM Boris Johnson has so far rejected talks of a second referendum citing the result of the first vote in 2014.
The Dollar has hit a Two year low this morning and is set to hit its largest monthly fall since July as vaccine optimism and bets on further monetary easing in the US pushed investors out of the safe haven currency. The drawn-out US elections has so far delayed lawmakers from passing any sort of fiscal spending package and the market is now starting to move towards the feeling that the Fed will proceed with more bond buying in their next December meeting.
10.30 – EUR – ECB President Lagarde speech
13.00 – EUR – German CPI, expected to remain at -0.5%
Sterling remained at three month highs against the US dollar
28 Nov 2020
Sterling remained at three month highs against the US dollar on Thursday as dollar weakness offset uncertainty surrounding Brexit. Investors are looking for progress on a trade deal between the UK and the EU, but this week there has been little developments with face to face talks postponed.
Reports are suggesting that EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier has apparently called a meeting for ministers surrounding the issue of fisheries. With little developments this week, this news could be positive for the pound moving into the end of the month with the deadline to secure a deal fast approaching.
Fisheries has been a key stumbling block to a deal being reached, with the UK wanting to fully reclaim its waters by EU coastal states. This development could be very positive for the pound but it depends on what the EU are prepared to offer on this matter.
Officials from both sides are stalling on two main issues of fisheries and fair competition, but neither so far have shown a willingness to shift enough on either to make way for any breakthrough. Talks are set to continue over the weekend going into next week.