Sterling holds up at 2-1/2-year high on renewed Brexit trade deal hopes. USD devalues.

Updated: Dec 19, 2020


The volatility continues. Which way are you betting?

In a day of high drama:

EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier warned the U.K. any deal must include powers for the bloc to hit Britain with trade penalties if it restricts access to its fishing waters

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on TV that the talks are now “difficult” and demanded the European side “see sense”

Barnier and his officials spent Friday morning consulting with governments from EU coastal states, led by France, that have a significant interest in fisheries

Negotiations with the U.K. resumed in Brussels in the afternoon but a fresh offer was rejected by the British

A pale-faced French President Emmanuel Macron, the toughest of all EU leaders on Brexit, issued a video after testing positive for the coronavirus to say that he was being informed on the progress of the negotiations

LONDON, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Sterling rose on Thursday and was comfortably above $1.35 - at a 2-1/2-year high against a weaker dollar - as reports of progress in Brexit trade talks boosted appetite for the British currency.

With only days left to the end of a Brexit transition period on Dec. 31, Britain and the European Union are in the final stretch of talks to keep about 1 trillion dollars of annual trade free of tariffs and quotas.

British interior minister Priti Patel said the government would work flat out for a trade deal.


The pound jumped above the $1.35 mark after European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday there was now a “very narrow” path to agreement though success was not guaranteed.

Sterling was at its highest level since May 2018 on Thursday, extending gains in early trade to $1.3578, up 0.5% against the dollar.

Against the euro, it gained 0.3% at 90.05 pence.

The pound is benefiting from “an improvement in rhetoric from the UK and EU” on the chances of a Brexit trade deal this week, said Chris Turner, global head of markets at ING.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he hoped the EU would “see sense” and agree a deal that respected Britain’s sovereignty.

Analysts are also taking it as a positive sign for the pound that Britain’s parliament will be on standby during its Christmas break, and could be recalled at short notice to legislate if a trade deal is reached.

Analysts do not expect The Bank of England to make any move at a meeting later on Thursday.

“With the deal being neither concluded nor rejected, the BoE should adopt a wait and see approach today,” Turner added in a note to clients.

No point investing, trade the marked on this. #insiderkk