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Monday, October 21, 2019

Pounds slides from five-month

Pound Slide
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 MPs delay deal vote

The pound was under pressure from the outset on Monday morning after British MP’s delayed a vote on Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal by introducing an amendment to the Benn Act which would prevent an “accidental” no-deal exit from Europe. As a result PM Johnson is obliged to request a deadline extension past October 31, with rumours suggest end-January is the next stop. He reportedly sent an unsigned request for an extension to Europe.
The pound fell in Asian trading, snapping a four-day rising streak, though losses were limited to less than 1% as, even though a deal is likely, we are apparently closer to a deal than any time in the past three-plus years. GBP/USD is now down 0.55% at 1.2911 after reaching 1.2991 on Thursday, the highest since May 13. The 200-day moving average is now at 1.2716.

Equities drift higher

Aside from the GBP action, it was a mundane start to trading this week. In a common theme in recent days, US equity indices travelled in the opposite direction to the previous NY session, this time rising between 0.21% and 0.31% with no specific news drivers. The rest of the Asian equities followed suit, with the Japan225 index gaining 0.21%, despite weak exports numbers, the HongKong33 rose 0.55% while China shares out-performed with gains of 0.84%.

Japan exports down more than expected

Further evidence of the global slowdown came from Japan’s trade data for September. Exports fell 5.2% y/y, more than the -4.0% analysts had expected and the tenth straight month of contraction. Meanwhile, imports fell 1.8% y/y, which was better than the -2.8% forecast. As a result, the merchandise trade deficit was wider than expected, but still narrowed to ¥123.0 billion from ¥143.5 billion in August. That’s the smallest deficit in three months.
There was only a muted reaction to the data in USD/JPY, with the pair’s direction dictated more by a slight risk-on mood in the markets. The yen fell 0.06% versus the US dollar, bringing a three-day rising streak to an end. The pair is now at 108.49 and is consolidating below the 200-day moving average at 109.08.

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