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16th October 2017 - Exchange Rates News written by TorFX for

16th October 2017 News: Hopes for Brexit Keep Pound (GBP) Buoyant

Pound Sterling (GBP)

The Pound fluctuated wildly last week due to the latest developments in Brexit talks, but closed Friday higher against some major rivals.

Sterling was bolstered by comments from EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier. Barnier had stated the EU would be willing to help Britain with a Brexit transitional period and was preparing for trade talks too – despite the UK’s exit bill remaining a serious sticking point.

Over the weekend, it was revealed that UK Prime Minister Theresa May would head to Brussels on Monday in yet another attempt to break the ‘deadlock’ in UK-EU negotiations. This bolstered Sterling’s appeal on Monday.

US Dollar (USD)

The Pound to US Dollar exchange rate climbed for most of last week as the Pound benefitted from Brexit speculation while the US Dollar was weighed down by domestic data.

Markets were disappointed by Friday’s US Consumer Price Index (CPI) results from September, which only improved from 1.9% to 2.2% year-on-year despite being predicted to improve to 2.3%. The monthly figure and core inflation stats also fell short of forecasts.

On top of this, US retail sales were slower month-on-month in September than expected.

Still, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen remained confident that US inflation would see a strong uptrend in 2018. She noted that the bank still expected to hike US interest rates soon, and bets for a December Fed rate hike remained above 80%. This prevented GBP/USD from making notable gains on Monday morning.

Euro (EUR)

The Pound to Euro exchange rate advanced last week due to Brexit news and persistent political uncertainty in the Eurozone.

The situation between Catalonia and Spain is still concerning. On Monday morning, Catalonian Leader Carles Puigdemont sent a letter to Spain’s Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy. In the letter, Puigdemont claimed that Catalonia had the democratic mandate for independence and asked for face-to-face negotiations with Rajoy.

Rajoy has indicated that if Catalonia edges towards declaring independence, Spain’s government could activate a ‘nuclear option’ to take direct control over the region.

Australian Dollar (AUD)

The Pound to Australian Dollar exchange rate advanced for most of last week due to Brexit speculation and low demand for risk-correlated currencies. However, the Australian Dollar broadly strengthened on Friday.

When the latest US inflation data came in on Friday, Fed rate hike bets dropped and demand increased for high yielding currencies like the ‘Aussie’.

New Zealand Dollar (NZD)

The Pound to New Zealand Dollar exchange rate has seen similar movement to GBP/AUD over the last seven days.

When markets opened on Monday, the pair fluctuated within a relatively tight range. Anticipation for upcoming news (such as NZ inflation data and the latest Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auction) has kept the currency relatively sturdy.

Canadian Dollar (CAD)

The Pound to Canadian Dollar exchange rate put in a solid advance over the last seven days and continued to rise on Monday.

Despite stronger prices of oil, Canada’s most lucrative commodity, the ‘Loonie’ has been performing poorly due to US news.

Last week, US President Donald Trump once again indicated that the US may leave the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). As Canada benefits strongly from the deal, this has concerned ‘Loonie’ traders.

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