Pound falls on Brexit ‘labyrinth’
AFP – The pound dropped on Thursday, weighed down by ongoing chaos in Brexit proceedings, while global stocks were mixed.
London’s stock market rose, however, buoyed by the weaker currency.
Eurozone markets, having enjoyed modest gains earlier in the session, slipped towards the close, while Wall Street pushed higher as Treasury bond yields stabilized.
British Prime Minister Theresa May will renew attempts to push through her Brexit plan on Friday, after she dramatically offered to quit to save her deal and MPs failed in their own bid to break the deadlock.
"The pound has remained under pressure today," said XTB analyst David Cheetham.
"The decline has been fairly steady and not too dramatic in its nature, but the move could well gather momentum in the next few days if the current political impasse shows no sign of abating with no-deal prospects seemingly being resurrected," Cheetham said.
Sterling’s fall against the dollar exceeded one percent, and the currency lost ground against the euro.
– ‘No clear way out’ –
Connor Campbell, analyst at Spreadex, said there was "no clear way out of the Brexit labyrinth in sight".
Meanwhile top Chinese and US negotiators held their latest round of trade talks in Beijing, with hopes the two economic superpowers can find a deal to end their long-running tariffs row, though it may take time.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the negotiations are not "time dependent" and could be extended.
The talks are "policy and enforcement dependent" so "if it takes a few more weeks or if it takes months, so be it," Kudlow said in a speech in Washington.
The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 0.4 percent after the yield on the 10-year US Treasury bond rose. Declines in yields in recent sessions raised concerns about slowing economic growth.
"The market was fearful that the Treasury yields were falling because of recession fears," said Karl Haeling of LBBW.
"The end of the treasury rally took away some of the panic fear."
Earlier Thursday, Asian stock markets were gripped by volatility as investors grow increasingly worried about the state of the global economy, sending them rushing to haven assets and fueling talk of possible recession.
Tokyo’s main stocks index sank 1.6 percent, with exporters hit by a jump in the haven yen currency, while Shanghai shed almost one percent.
– Key figures around 2100 GMT –
New York – Dow: UP 0.4 percent at 25,717.46 (close)
New York – S&P 500 UP 0.4 percent at 2,815.44 (close)
New York – Nasdaq: UP 0.3 percent at 7,669.17 (close)
London – FTSE 100: UP 0.6 percent at 7,234.33 (close)
Frankfurt – DAX 30: UP 0.1 percent at 11,428.16 (close)
Paris – CAC 40: DOWN 0.1 percent at 5,296.54 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.1 percent at 3,320.29 (close)
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 1.6 percent at 21,033.76 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 0.2 percent at 28,775.21 (close)
Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.9 percent at 2,994.94 (close)
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3054 from $1.3189 at 2100 GMT
Euro/pound: UP at 86.03 pence from 85.26 pence
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1226 from $1.1244
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 110.62 yen from 110.51 yen
Oil – Brent Crude: DOWN 1 cents at $67.82 per barrel
Oil – West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 11 cents at $59.30 per barrel