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British Pound Edges Lower as PM May Moves to Outfox Critics

British Pound Edges Lower as PM May Moves to Outfox Critics

Ilya Spivak, Head Strategist, APAC

Talking Points:

  • British Pound down as PM May moves to outfox critics of Brexit tactics
  • Australian Dollar plunges as 3Q GDP miss rekindles RBA rate cut bets
  • Euro may take center stage ahead as markets prepare for ECB meeting

The British Pound edged lower overnight UK Prime Minister Theresa May reversed a preference for staying mum on the administration’s Brexit strategy, asking the House of Commons to vote on her plan to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and officially start departure negotiations by the end of March. She also committed to revealing the official roadmap for the UK/EU divorce prior to that deadline.

Ms May’s move puts MPs on the spot to back the outcome of July’s referendum or appear to ignore the electorate, which investors may have interpreted as upstaging moderates and increasing the risk of a “hard” exit (implying a loss of access to the EU single market). Still, the Commons vote is non-binding and a Supreme Court decision this week may yet require the harder step of formally passing Brexit legislation.

It was the Australian Dollar that underperformed however after third-quarter GDP data fell short of expectations, showing the economy shrank 0.5 percent. The year-on-year growth rate tumbled to 1.8 percent, the weakest since the nadir of the financial crisis 7 years ago. The Aussie dropped alongside front-end bond yields, hinting the markets are starting to envision rate cuts even as the RBA puts on a brave face.

The Japanese Yen likewise weakened as Asian stocks followed Wall Street higher, undercutting demand for the anti-risk currency. Financial shares appeared to be leading the way higher. A singular catalyst for the advance was not readily apparent and follow-through may be undermined if “hard Brexit” worries spill over into broader sentiment trends.

Looking ahead, a relatively lackluster data docket in European trading hours leaves markets without a standout trigger for directional momentum. Prepositioning ahead of tomorrow’s ECB rate decision may put the Euro at the forefront as investors prepare for what is expected to be an unveiling of significant changes to the central bank’s stimulus effort.

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Asia Session

GMT

CCY

EVENT

ACT

EXP

PREV

21:00

NZD

ANZ Job Advertisements (MoM) (NOV)

2.9%

-

0.8%

22:00

NZD

RBNZ's Wheeler Testifies to Parlianent Committee

-

-

-

22:30

AUD

AiG Perf of Construction Index (NOV)

46.6

-

45.9

23:50

JPY

Official Reserve Assets ($) (NOV)

1219.3b

-

1242.8b

0:30

AUD

GDP SA (QoQ) (3Q)

-0.5%

-0.1%

0.6%

0:30

AUD

GDP (YoY) (3Q)

1.8%

2.2%

3.1%

5:00

JPY

Leading Index CI (OCT P)

101.0

101.4

100.3

5:00

JPY

Coincident Index (OCT P)

113.9

114.1

112.7

5:30

AUD

Foreign Reserves (A$) (NOV)

69.9b

-

64.9b

European Session

GMT

CCY

EVENT

EXP

PREV

IMPACT

7:00

EUR

Germany Industrial Production (MoM) (OCT)

0.8%

-1.8%

Medium

7:00

EUR

Germany Industrial Production (YoY) (OCT)

1.6%

1.2%

Medium

7:45

EUR

France Trade Balance (OCT)

-4350m

-4769m

Low

7:45

EUR

France Current Account Balance (OCT)

-

-3.4b

Low

8:00

CHF

Foreign Currency Reserves (NOV)

-

630.3b

Low

8:30

GBP

Halifax House Prices (MoM) (NOV)

0.2%

1.4%

Medium

8:30

GBP

Halifax House Price (3Mths/Year) (NOV)

5.9%

5.2%

Medium

9:00

EUR

Italy Unemployment Rate Quarterly (3Q)

11.6%

11.5%

Low

9:30

GBP

Industrial Production (MoM) (OCT)

0.2%

-0.4%

Medium

9:30

GBP

Industrial Production (YoY) (OCT)

0.5%

0.3%

Medium

9:30

GBP

Manufacturing Production (MoM) (OCT)

0.2%

0.6%

Medium

9:30

GBP

Manufacturing Production (YoY) (OCT)

0.7%

0.2%

Medium

15:00

GBP

NIESR GDP Estimate (NOV)

0.4%

0.4%

Medium

Critical Levels

CCY

Supp 3

Supp 2

Supp 1

Pivot Point

Res 1

Res 2

Res 3

EUR/USD

1.0560

1.0647

1.0682

1.0734

1.0769

1.0821

1.0908

GBP/USD

1.2467

1.2585

1.2632

1.2703

1.2750

1.2821

1.2939

--- Written by Ilya Spivak, Currency Strategist for DailyFX.com

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DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.

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