The U.S. dollar’s recovery turned out to be only short-lived with the British pound and euro regaining some ground against the greenback Thursday. The British pound has proven to be the best performing currency in September so far but storm clouds could gather over the currency. The pound’s recent strength has been based on the hawkish shift in the Bank of England’s monetary policy stance. Consequently, the market has begun to price in a potential BoE rate hike later this year. However, even if a change in monetary policy is an important driver in the market, there is also another fundamental driver that can change everything: Brexit. The U.K.’s divorce from the EU could cloud the outlook for the country’s economy and its currency. In a nutshell, future monetary policy decisions will depend on the Brexit theme which still represents the biggest uncertainty factor for the United Kingdom.
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is scheduled to provide an update on the Brexit theme in her speech in Florence today at 19:00 UTC. So far, no breakthrough was reached after three rounds of negotiations between the UK and EU. May’s speech is, however, expected to strike a positive tone and this optimism is reflected in the pound’s upward movement. Theresa May is expected to offer up to 20 billion pounds to retain access to the single market. Should her speech reinforce confidence that Brexit will brighten for the UK, the pound will benefit and could further rise. If May, however, confirms that the troubles remain, the pound could crash.
We currently see GBP/USD trading within an upward trend channel between 1.3690 and 1.3470. While today’s price development could be oriented toward these barriers, the pound’s direction will depend on May’s speech. We expect higher volatility around that speech.
Investors may also keep an eye on speeches by Federal Reserve officials and ECB President Draghi today. While Draghi refrained from touching on the ECB’s monetary policy in his speech yesterday he may offer further clues about tapering today.
The EUR/USD traded with a tailwind and we now focus on higher targets at 1.20 and 1.2050. A current support is however seen at 1.1870.
On Sunday September 24, Germans go the polls and this German election could also matter for the rest of Europe and thus the euro. If big chances are taking place, the euro will respond on Monday morning when markets open. Let’s be surprised.
We wish good trades and a wonderful weekend!
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