Pound falls to its lowest level in 10 weeks after May’s comments

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10 January 2017

thomasdodds

Yesterday’s comments from Theresa May couldn’t help the Sterling, which kept losing on Monday.

T
he drop of GBP/USD during European trading was limited, however, most of the fall took place before, over the course of Asian trading.

Major currencies in detail

GBP

The Pound ended the day 0.2% lower against the greenback during London trading following a 0.8% drop during Asian hours

Sterling once again traded almost entirely driven by the Brexit developments. The Pound fell to its lowest level in 10-weeks against the US Dollar after British PM, Theresa May said during a television broadcast on Sunday that she doesn’t intend to keep “bits” of the European Union membership. Markets viewed it as an indication of a tough stance on the EU negotiations lowering the probability of a ‘Soft Brexit’. May tried to clarify her statement on Monday saying that “’I’m tempted to say that the people who are getting it wrong are those who print things saying I’m talking about a ‘Hard Brexit’ (that) it is absolutely inevitable there’s a ‘Hard Brexit’“.

However, the positive comment failed to support Sterling. A poll from OBR published on Monday showed that 46 % of Britons agree that access to free trade is less important than tightening control on immigration, 39 % had the opposite view and 62% of people are disappointed by the way the government is handling Brexit negotiations.

With no major economic releases from the UK today, Sterling should react mostly to the events elsewhere.

EUR

Euro ended Monday’s session 0.3% higher against the US Dollar.

Industrial Production in Germany released today was almost in line with the expectations, rising by 0.4% in November on a monthly basis. A normally less critical data point – exports – turned out to be the biggest surprise. German exports rose 3.9% compared with the previous month. We had not seen such surge for more than two years. Imports were also quite impressive rising 3.5%, beating expectations by 3.3 p.p.

In terms of Euro-area data: Sentix Investors’ Confidence Index beat expectations and surged to 18.2, its highest level since 17 months. Euro-area unemployment rate for November was confirmed at 9.8%. Lower unemployment is a positive sign although downtrend is not taking place in all economies – Italian unemployment rose to 16-month high at 11.9%, disappointing economists.

In the absence of important publications from the Eurozone the focus will be on developments in China and the United States.

USD

The US Dollar Index declined 0.4% on Monday.

Monday was relatively light in terms of macroeconomic data, and markets mostly ignored series of hawkish comments from FED’s officials.

During yesterday’s speech Fed’s Rosengran stated that the path of US fiscal policy is currently hard to predict. He, however, believes that inflation would reach its 2% target before the end of 2017, which should accelerate the rate hike path compared to previous year´s expectations. Another Fed member – Williams speaking earlier, touched the matter of Donald Trump’s presidency influence on the FED’s policy by saying that fiscal stimulus is “really not that important” for tightening in 2017. Lockhart, the third FED member speaking yesterday sees continuing increase in interest rates and US GDP growth nearing 2% for the next 3 years. In his view inflation should return to target in 2017 or 2018.

Today’s JOLTs Job Openings for November are the most important piece of data from the US. A number should add to the pile of positive job-market data we got used to in recent months.