Pound, Euro Climb with Brexit, ECB Meeting in Focus


The British pound and euro both edged higher on Thursday, as investors kept their focus on Brexit developments and the European Central Bank's final policy meeting of the year.

The pound was on the front foot, with GBP/USD gaining 0.3% to 1.2671 by 3:45AM ET (08:45 GMT).

It had bounced off a 20-month low of 1.2478 in the last session to end up 1.1% after Prime Minister Theresa May survived a no-confidence vote.

Any respite for sterling was expected to be brief, however, as May appeared no closer to getting her Brexit agreement through parliament, raising the risk of a chaotic exit in March.

May now heads to Brussels for a summit of European Union leaders. While the EU will not renegotiate the current Brexit deal, it may be willing to give greater assurances on the temporary nature of the Irish backstop.

Staying in Europe, the European Central Bank is all but certain to formally end its lavish bond purchase scheme on Thursday but will take an increasingly dim view on growth, raising the odds that its next step in removing stimulus will be delayed.

Italy's budget crisis also remained in focus after the government offered to lower its deficit target next year to 2.04% of gross domestic product, below the 2.4% level that the European Commission had rejected as too high.

The euro was last up around 0.1% at 1.1385 (EUR/USD). Elsewhere, the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was down 0.1% at 96.92.

Investors will be keeping abreast of the ongoing trade spat between the U.S. and China to see if any more news materializes, as recent signs the world's two biggest economies will be able to resolve their differences boosted sentiment.

Source: Investing.com

Daniel PerkinsComment