Sterling shines on Brexit hopes, yen eases on trade optimism

Sterling was the biggest mover with a 2 per cent rise to a two-week high versus the US dollar overnight. — Reuters pic
Sterling was the biggest mover with a 2 per cent rise to a two-week high versus the overnight. — Reuters pic

TOKYO, Oct 11 — Hopes of progress in US- trade talks and optimistic comments from Europe on Brexit pushed back the safe-haven yen and lifted the British pound and euro early today.

Sterling was the biggest mover overnight, jumping 2 per cent to a two-week high versus the dollar and posting its largest daily percentage gain in seven months on hopes of a Brexit resolution.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said yesterday a Brexit deal could be clinched by the end of October to allow the United Kingdom to leave the European Union in an orderly fashion, after what he called a very positive meeting with Boris Johnson.

Ireland is a major factor in the prolonged Brexit impasse.

Sterling last traded at US$1.2431, having risen up to US$1.2469 yesterday.

Against the euro, the pound also rose to two-week highs of 0.8831 pound to the euro yesterday and last stood at 0.8858.

The euro also gained against the US dollar, rising to US$1.1007. It had climbed as high as US$1.1034 in US trade yesterday, its strongest in almost three weeks.

That helped to send the US dollar index to 98.709, a low last seen on September 25.

Also undermining the US dollar, data showed yesterday US consumer prices were unchanged in September and underlying retreated, supporting expectations the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates in October.

The yen eased to 107.92 yen to the US dollar, having shed about 0.45 per cent the previous day.

Top US and negotiators wrapped up a first day of trade talks in more than two months yesterday, as business groups expressed optimism the two sides might be able to ease a trade war and delay a US tariff hike scheduled for next week.

US President Donald Trump told reporters that his team had a “very, very good negotiation with China,” and reiterated his plans to meet with Liu at the White House on Friday.

“Prospect of an interim deal were also boosted overnight following reports that President Trump was planning to meet Vice Premier Liu He on Friday,” Rodrigo Catril, senior FX strategist at National Australia Bank in Sydney, said in a report.

The Chinese yuan was also buoyed, with traded at 7.105 yuan per US dollar, having hit a three-week high of 7.0990 to the dollar the previous day. — Reuters

Source: The Malay Mail Online

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