Election Polls Narrow Following Debate

GBP

The Prime Minister doubled down on his Brexit promises on Tuesday, saying only he could take Britain out of the European Union quickly in a testy leadership debate with Jeremy Corbyn.

After the hour-long debate, polls showed the public were split over who was the victor: 51% said it was Johnson while 49% backed Corbyn – a result that analysts said reflected better on the Labour leader, who is trailing in opinion polls. Both leaders tried to undermine the other in the first debate before the 12th December election, called by Johnson to break the Brexit deadlock that has hurt Britain’s international standing.

Johnson is promising to implement the exit deal he negotiated with Brussels and lead Britain out of the EU by 31st January. He pledged to meet a 2020 deadline to secure a trade agreement for Britain’s long-term relationship with the EU. He took aim at Corbyn, saying his promise of a second referendum would only prolong Britain’s departure from the EU. Johnson prodded the opposition leader nine times to say whether his party would campaign to stay in the bloc or to leave at a new vote. Corbyn said he would honour the decision of the people.

To try to land a decisive blow in an election campaign which few voters relish, both leaders went on the attack, with Johnson trying to portray his rival as indecisive, while Corbyn questioned whether the prime minister could be trusted.

USD

The U.S. dollar edged higher against a basket of currencies on Tuesday, on pace to snap a three-day losing streak as continued lack of clarity about U.S.-China trade talks kept investors cautious.

The United States would raise tariffs on Chinese imports if no deal is reached with Beijing to end the trade war, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday, threatening an escalation of the spat that has damaged economic growth worldwide.

Investors are waiting for the release of minutes on Wednesday from the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting, where the central bank cut interest rates for the third time this year but signalled there would be no further reductions unless the economy takes a turn for the worse.

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