Political fears undermined Sterling with market expectations that the government would not be able to break the deadlock in Friday’s vote.

Confidence in the global growth outlook remained weak on Thursday with only a slight recovery in bond yields.

Overall demand for defensive assets remained firm, but the dollar was the prime beneficiary with strong gains amid a lack of confidence in other major currencies and high yields in relative terms.

Political fears undermined Sterling with market expectations that the government would not be able to break the deadlock in Friday’s vote.

Oil prices were resilient despite dollar strength as supply concerns continued. In contrast, precious metals were subjected to heavy selling with gold sliding well below $1,300 per ounce.

Strong gains in Chinese equities provided an element of relief to risk appetite on Friday. Month-end trading is likely to sustain choppy trading.

Sterling weakened steadily during Thursday with no significant respite amid weaker sentiment. Markets remained uneasy over political developments, especially with on-going deadlock in parliament. There was disappointment that the Northern Ireland DUP again refused to support the government’s deal.

During the New York session, the government announced that it would hold another vote on Friday, but there was an important difference as it would only cover the Withdrawal Agreement and not the political declaration to secure a Brexit extension to May 22nd.

Sterling was also hampered by an underlying lack of confidence in the global growth outlook which drew support into defensive assets. ECB President Draghi also commented that markets were not pricing in the full risk of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.

Month-end selling was also a potentially negative Sterling factor and GBP/USD dipped to lows below 1.3050 while GBP/EUR fell below 1.1650. Sterling rallied slightly on Friday, but expectations that the government would lose the Brexit vote limited potential support with markets wary over further choppy trading and GBP/USD was held below 1.3100.

Economic Calendar

07:00EUR German Retail Sales (M/M)(FEB)-1.00%3.30%
07:00EUR German Retail Sales (Y/Y)(FEB)2.80%2.60%
07:00GBP Nationwide House Prices (Y/Y)(MAR)0.60%0.40%
07:00GBP Nationwide House Prices (M/M)(MAR)0.00%-0.10%
08:00German Unemployment Rate(M/M)(MAR)-92.4
08:55German Unemployment Rate(M/M)(MAR)--21K
08:55German Unemployment Rate(M/M)(MAR)-5.00%
09:30GBP Total Business Investment (Q/Q)--1.40%
09:30GBP Current Account--26.5B
09:30United Kingdom GDP (Y/Y)-1.30%
09:30United Kingdom GDP (Q/Q)-0.20%
09:30GBP Mortgage Approvals(FEB)-66.77K
09:45GBP Net Lending to Individuals (M/M)4.6B4.6B
09:45ECB Benoit Coeure Speaks--
10:00Consumer Price Prelim MM(MAR)0.30%0.10%
10:00Consumer Price Prelim YY(MAR)1.00%1.00%
10:00CPI (EU Norm) Prelim MM(MAR)2.20%-0.30%
10:00CPI (EU Norm) Prelim YY(MAR)1.00%1.10%
10:00Euro-Zone CPI (Y/Y)(MAR)-1.50%
12:30USD PCE Core Price Index(M/M)(JAN)-0.20%
12:30USD Personal Income (M/M)(FEB)0.30%-0.10%
12:30USD Personal Spending (M/M)(JAN)--0.50%
12:30CAD GDP (M/M)(JAN)--0.10%
12:30CAD GDP (Y/Y)1.50%1.10%
13:25FOMC member John C. Williams speech--
13:30USD PCE Core Price Index (Y/Y)(JAN)-1.90%
13:30CAD RMPI (M/M)(FEB)-3.80%
13:45USD Chicago PMI(MAR)6164.7
14:00USD Michigan Consumer Sentiment(MAR 01)--
14:00USD New Home Sales(FEB)620M607M
14:00USD New Home Sales Change(FEB)1.30%-6.90%
14:30FOMC Robert Kaplan Speech--
16:00FOMC Governor Keith Randal Quarles Speech--
17:00USD Baker Hughes US Oil Count-824

*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.