Sterling opened sharply higher on Monday as the EU and UK announced that trade talks would continue.

Risk conditions were slightly less buoyant on Friday, although vaccine hopes continued to underpin overall confidence. Global equity markets edged higher on Monday as US futures advanced on speculation over on-going monetary support and hopes for fiscal stimulus.

The dollar recovered some ground as risk appetite dipped, but failed to hold the gains. Sterling opened sharply higher on Monday as the EU and UK announced that trade talks would continue with GBP/USD around 1.3350.

The Euro also gained some relief from Brexit developments with EUR/USD just below 1.2150 despite German coronavirus concerns. Commodity currencies retreated from the highest level for more than two years, but continued to hold net gains amid US weakness.

The Euro retreated in early Europe on Monday and was unable to regain traction during the day. The single currency was unsettled to some extent by unease over Brexit developments with short-term coronavirus developments also a factor while the US dollar also secured a respite.

US producer prices increased 0.1% for November with underlying prices also increasing 0.1% on the month to give a year-on-year increase of 1.4%.

The University of Michigan consumer confidence index strengthened to 81.4 for December from 76.9 previously and above consensus forecasts of 76.5. There were significant increases for the current conditions and expectations components on the month.

There was further speculation that the Federal Reserve could consider fresh stimulus measures if there is no agreement on a new fiscal stimulus early this week.

The US currency was still able to secure some respite amid a more cautious tone and EUR/USD retreated towards 1.2100 into the European close.

CFTC data registered a renewed increase in long Euro positions while dollar shorts increased to a 3-month high, maintaining the risk of a correction if there is any shift in sentiment.

The Euro regained ground on Monday with Brexit developments providing some support and EUR/USD traded around 1.2140 despite fresh concerns over German coronavirus developments. The dollar was hampered to some extent by speculation over a dovish Federal Reserve statement on Wednesday.

The Japanese yen drew support from weaker risk conditions on Friday as Wall Street indices edged lower. USD/JPY broke below the 104.00 level with lows near 103.80 as the Japanese currency gained some support on the crosses, although overall ranges were relatively narrow.

The FDA approved the use of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine for emergency use which helped underpin sentiment, although there were still important reservations over the near-term outlook given the high level of infection rates and restrictions on economic activity in New York and California.

The Bank of Japan Tankan business survey for large manufacturers improved to -10 from -15, the strongest figure since March 2020 and there was a small recovery for non-manufacturing to -5 from -7, but there was a sharp reduction in capital spending plans as underlying caution prevailed.

The Chinese central bank adopted measures to curb potential inflows, although the yuan maintained a strong tone. USD/JPY was able to resist further losses against the yen on Monday to trade close to the 104.00 level while the Japanese yen lost ground on the crosses with EUR/JPY trading above 126.0.

Bank of England Governor Bailey stated that the UK financial sector was prepared for all Brexit eventualities, but also warned that there would be disruption to the economy. Markets remained uneasy over the outlook, especially with expectation that there would be significant economic disruption even in a best-case scenario.

Political rhetoric was notably downbeat on Friday with both UK Prime Minister Johnson and EU Commission President von der Leyen both warning that a no-deal outcome was more likely than a deal. GBP/USD slumped to lows below 1.3150 before a limited recovery while GBP/EUR surged to 12-week lows around 1.0850. The UK currency secured limited relief later in the session amid short covering, but sentiment remained extremely fragile.

CFTC data recorded that there was a switch to a small net long Sterling position in the latest week for the first time since late September, increasing the risk of selling on negative political developments.

Following another conference call on Sunday, Johnson and von der Leyen agreed that talks should continue. Johnson was still attempting to talk directly with German Chancellor Merkel and French President Macron, but there was opposition from the EU Commission.

Sterling posted sharp gains at the Asian open on relief that talks would continue with a GBP/USD peak above 1.3350 and GBP/EUR retreating to below 1.0850. The UK currency was unable to extend on Monday amid concerns over the economic outlook with an update from EU Chief Negotiator Barnier due after the open.

Economic Calendar

07:30CHF PPI (M/M)(NOV)0.00%
07:30CHF PPI (Y/Y)(NOV)-2.90%
10:00Euro-Zone Industrial Production (M/M)(OCT)0.70%-0.40%
10:00Euro-Zone Industrial Production (Y/Y)(OCT)-6.80%
11:00Monthly Oil Market Report
21:00NZD Westpac Consumer Sentiment95.1
23:45NZD Current Account (Q/Q)1.83B

*All rates shown are indicative of interbank rates and should only be used for indication purposes only. It is important to note that foreign exchange rates fluctuate and that rates may vary depending on the amount and the base currency that is purchased or sold. Rates are correct as of 8:00am UK time. CentralFX are not responsible for the rates shown.