Pound LIVE: GBP soars to three and a half month high against euro as faith in Europe FALLS
THE pound soared to a three-and-a-half month high against the euro this morning after first beginning its descent last week. Sterling held its gains over the weekend and into Monday after markets reacted positively to Brexit optimism following reports that divorce deal is “very close”.
The pound saw highs of €1.139 against the euro today, according to Bloomberg, before later dropping slightly to €1.137.
The high rate has been the best the exchange rate has seen since July.
Sterling first saw gains last week following Theresa May’s rallying speech during the Conservative Party Conference where she vowed the “resilience and ingenuity of the British people will see us through” negotiations with Brussels.
While Mrs May said she wanted a good Brexit agreement, she warned Brussels that ”Britain isn’t afraid to leave with no deal if we had to”.
The pound was further boosted on reports that a divorce deal was “very close”, according to EU sources.
Reuters UK Bureau chief Guy Faulconbridge claimed on Friday that Brexit negotiators told national diplomats in Brussels that the deal was nearly done.
This was further reinforced over the weekend by president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, who said expressed his desire to “get away from this no deal scenario”.
While he suggested a deal had become more likely in recent days, he stressed that no deal “wouldn’t be good for Britain or for the rest of the [European] Union”.
He said: “I have reason to think that the rapprochement potential between both sides has increased in recent days.
“We are not there yet. But our will to reach an understanding with the British government is unbroken.
“We have to get away from this no deal scenario.”
Meanwhile, the euro was continuing to feel the pressure from the fallout of Italy’s deficit budget plan after the European Commission brandished the targets as a “source of serious concern”.
Rome rattled markets after announcing proposals to set out a deficit goal of 2.4 percent of GDP for the next three years – three times the previous administration’s target.
A letter, signed by European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis and European Union Economic Affairs Commisioner Pierre Moscovici, said: “We call on the Italian authorities to ensure that the [budget] will be in compliance with the common fiscal rules and look forward to seeing the details of the measures.”
Italian 10-year bond yield rose to the highest level since 2014, climbing eight basis points to 3.51 percent earlier this morning, after touching 3.52 percent, the highest level since February 2014.
The two-year yield jumped 14 basis points to 1.49 percent.
In Italy the FTSE MIB was down 1.4 percent to its lowest since 21 April 2017.
Meanwhile, European markets were trading lower this morning over growing trade war fears between the United States and China.
Shares in Asia slumped overnight despite Beijing’s central bank increasing liquidity to offset the effects of the tariff row with the US.
The pan-European STOXX 600 benchmark index was down 0.4 percent by 0720 GMT.
Germany’s DAX also declined 0.6 percent, while the the UK’s FTSE fell 0.3 percent.
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