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Expect GBP/USD Volatility to Stick with UK Jobs and US CPI on Tap

Expect GBP/USD Volatility to Stick with UK Jobs and US CPI on Tap

2017-01-18 05:57:00
John Kicklighter, Chief Currency Strategist

Talking Points:

  • UK Prime Minister Theresa May confirms 'hard Brexit' preference but gives Parliament a say with a strong Pound rally
  • Dollar sinks as US President-elect Donald Trump says Greenback too high, shows preference for tariffs over border tax
  • Risk trends and trade problems key risks to track while high level event risk ahead includes UK jobs, US CPI, BoC decision

See what live coverage is scheduled to cover key event risk for the FX and capital markets on the DailyFX Webinar Calendar.

The GBP/USD combined two of the most remarkable moves in the entire financial system this past session. A strong shift in Brexit speculation drove the Sterling on a charged rally while the Dollar suffered from the shifting focus of the President elect. The combined impact on the cable was the biggest single-day surge in over two decades. Given the nature of the fundamental cues for these individual currencies - and the pair in particular - traders should be prepared for a market that is far more sensitive to sparks of volatility. The combination of the biggest day's rally in decades is a conspicuous contrast to the rebound from three-plus decade lows which will give both bulls and bears plenty to work with. How the market ultimately lays its path though will depend heavily on the fundamental motivations that have fueled the recent fireworks.

From the Sterling's perspective, UK PM May's remarks this past session offered some unexpected relief from the 'worst case scenario' sentiment that has been hung on the currency due to the Brexit. While she did confirm her preference for a 'hard Brexit' that maintains control over immigration and setting law in exchange for access to the single market, she had also suggested the plan the government was laying out would sent to Parliament for review. The UK Constitutional Court will rule later on just how much say Parliament has in the UK's position at the negotiation table this month and we are still awaiting May's full plans for discussions with her EU counterparts in the coming months. In the meantime, the upcoming UK jobs figures will forge heavier moves in markets under already reactive conditions. GBP/USD and EUR/GBP are two of the most fundamentally rooted pairs, but they also share a considerable amount of responsibility with their counter currencies.

For the Dollar, Donald Trump's assessment that the Greenback was too high undermined some of the very strength that his policy promises on the campaign trail had won. Unexpected assessment of market bearings and policy updates via social media are a very probable reality for the currency moving forward; and traders should be prepared. In the meantime, a traditional theme will look to have its way with the Dollar Wednesday. The December CPI figures and a few important Fed speeches (including Chair Yellen) will tap the currency's productive monetary policy theme. Other fundamental patterns threats to track include the Bank of Canada and European Central Bank rate decisions ahead. US earnings will offer up key company updates, but it hasn't proven a clear catalyst in fourth quarter data. Risk trends remains a pent-up threat without release, but the catalysts are growing more numerous. We discuss what's moving in the market and presenting definable opportunity in today's Trading Video.

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