MA FX Update: Sterling (GBP) Plunges as Markets Expect Article 50 to be Activated by March

  • Patrick Maflin
    Patrick Maflin

Pound Sterling (GBP)

The Pound was briefly boosted during Friday’s session as the latest British data beat expectations and indicated that the British economy was remaining resilient despite the Brexit vote. Q2 Gross Domestic Product was better-than-expected quarter-on-quarter, but worse-than-expected year-on-year. The index of services outperformed expectations in July, which lightened concerns over July’s Brexit vote jitters slightly.

However, Sterling plummeted on Monday morning in response to weekend news, including comments from UK Prime Minister Theresa May. May claimed on Sunday that the plan was for Article 50 to be activated by the end of March 2017 – beginning the formal Brexit process. Markets had hoped for a delayed Brexit so Britain could at least secure single market access. With German and French elections coming next year, analysts are concerned that negotiators for key European Union nations could change mid-way through the process.

Sterling softened its losses slightly on Monday morning thanks to the latest UK Manufacturing PMI scores. September’s figures beat expectations of slipping from 53.3 to 52.1 by improving to a solid 55.4.

US Dollar (USD)

The Pound to US Dollar exchange rate hit a new three-decade-low on Monday morning as Sterling plummeted on the latest Brexit comments from UK Prime Minister Theresa May.

GBP USD trended relatively flatly during Friday’s trade session as both the Pound and US Dollar were boosted by better-than-expected domestic stats. Friday’s US personal core expenditure (PCE) score improved from 1.6% to 1.7% in August, bringing the figure closer to the bank’s 2.0% target, which was good news for US investors. US markets are still eyeing a December Fed interest rate hike but the US Presidential election is just over a month away and sure to cause market jitters in the meantime.

Euro (EUR)

The Euro has strengthened since late last week as Eurozone stats beat expectations, allowing it to capitalise on mixed appetite for the Pound.

The Eurozone’s latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) projections came in well above expectations, jumping from 0.2% to 0.4% in September and increasing hopes that the European Central Bank’s (ECB) easing measures had finally begun to have the desired effect.

Stronger sentiment towards the Euro as well as a Pound weakened by indications that the Brexit process would begin by March 2017 caused the Pound to Euro exchange rate to plummet to new three-year-lows on Monday.

Australian Dollar (AUD)

The Pound to Australian Dollar exchange rate attempted to advance last Friday, boosted by the day’s better-than-expected UK ecostats. However, the ‘Aussie’ pushed back once again as Sterling weakened and the ‘Aussie’ benefitted from limited demand for risky currencies.

The Australian Dollar trended strongly on Monday, taking advantage of a weakened Sterling and causing GBP AUD to plummet. With the new Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Governor’s first policy decision being held on Tuesday, Australian markets readjusted their positions on the ‘Aussie’. Philip Lowe is not expected to act in his first meeting as Governor, and markets speculate that Lowe’s RBA will likely avoid further interest rate cuts until well into 2017.

New Zealand Dollar (NZD)

The Pound to New Zealand Dollar exchange rate dropped on Monday as investors reacted to expectations that the formal Brexit process would begin in March 2017. Markets are also predicting that Britain will see a ‘Hard Brexit’, a full separation from all of the European Union’s benefits.

The New Zealand Dollar trended relatively sturdily as risk-sentiment strengthened.

Canadian Dollar (CAD)

The Pound to Canadian Dollar exchange rate advanced by almost a cent on Monday as investors indulged in a Pound selloff amid expectations that the British government would begin a ‘hard Brexit’ as soon as March 2017.

The ‘Loonie’ was bolstered late last week by Canada’s latest ecostats. Canada’s July Gross Domestic Product (GDP) score revealed that the economy grew by an unexpected 0.5%, beating expectations of 0.3%.

Disclaimer: This update is provided by TorFX, a leading foreign exchange broker, its content is authorised for reuse by affiliates.

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