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19th October 2017 - Exchange Rates News written by TorFX for

19th October 2017 News: Brexit Concerns and UK Retail Data Keep Pound (GBP) Unappealing

Pound Sterling (GBP)

Brexit concerns continue to weigh heavily on Sterling this week and on Thursday morning the British currency was slipping for a fourth consecutive day against some major currency rivals.

As UK-EU Brexit negotiations have failed to make any progress in recent weeks, concerns are rising that they may fall through completely and cause the UK government to walk away with a ‘hard Brexit’.

Reports have emerged that while UK Prime Minister Theresa May faces refusal on short-term trade talks from EU negotiators, she also faces pressure at home from ‘hard Brexit’ supporters to drop the talks completely.

Sterling became even less appealing following the publication of September’s UK retail sales, which came in well short of expectations.

US Dollar (USD)

The Pound to US Dollar exchange rate briefly strengthened overnight as the latest US ecostats weighed slightly on Federal Reserve interest rate hike bets, but Brexit news kept the pair near its weekly lows and GBP/USD slipped again on Thursday morning.

US building permits and housing starts both fell short of expectations in September, with monthly figures contracting considerably month-on-month. This was largely due to the destruction caused by hurricanes in recent months, so bets of a December Fed rate hike remained over 90%.

Euro (EUR)

The Pound to Euro exchange rate edged lower yesterday before slipping on the latest Brexit developments on Thursday.

Despite a lack of influential Eurozone news in recent sessions and political uncertainty inspired by the Spain-Catalonia conflicts, the Euro has benefitted against a weak Pound.

Demand for the Euro strengthened as it appeared Catalonia had failed to meet Spain’s deadlines for clarity, which indicated Spain may take direct control over the region. Investors hope this will improve stability, even if clashes worsen between Spain and separatists.

Australian Dollar (AUD)

The Pound to Australian Dollar exchange rate tumbled on Thursday morning in reaction to positive Australian data.

Australia’s September job market data beat expectations. The key unemployment rate unexpectedly improved to 5.5%, with the employment change coming in at 19.8k, beating forecasts of slowing from 53k to 15k.

New Zealand Dollar (NZD)

The Pound to New Zealand Dollar exchange rate reached its best levels since May this morning as investors reacted to the announcement of New Zealand’s new government.

As a surprise to many, the NZ First Party announced that it had agreed to make a coalition with the Labour Party and the Green Party. This meant that the Labour Party’s Jacinda Ardern had become New Zealand’s Prime Minister, in a shock to markets hoping for more years of the National Party’s status quo.

The New Zealand Dollar went into free-fall following the coalition announcement and investors could continue to react to the news over the coming week.

Canadian Dollar (CAD)

The Pound to Canadian Dollar exchange rate has continued tumbling since yesterday, as Brexit news kept pressure on the Pound while the ‘Loonie’ benefitted from the latest Canadian manufacturing data.

Canada’s August manufacturing sales results were forecast to lighten from -2.6% to -0.1%, but instead improved to 1.6%. GBP/CAD has now shed most of last week’s gains.

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