British holds support at 200-day moving average as U.K. scores Brexit extension


The British pound on Thursday was able to shake off Brexit drama and an early morning selloff to trade near unchanged near midday in New York.

After nearly six hours of deliberation, European Union leaders granted the U.K. a second extension to its Brexit deadline to Oct. 31, which includes a clause that would allow Britain to exit from the EU earlier should Prime Minister Theresa May win Parliament approval soon.

“The takeaway is that neither side wants a no-deal Brexit. It also appears likely that the endgame is some sort of soft Brexit. Over six months remain for a deal to be struck but never underestimate the capacity of politicians to go to the brink once again. May must now sell this latest compromise to an increasingly skeptical Parliament,” wrote analysts at Brown Brothers Harriman in a Thursday markets brief.

The pound












GBPUSD, -0.1070%










 was little changed versus the dollar at $1.3084 compared with $1.3089.

Sterling fell to an intraday low below $1.30 but was able to hold support near the 200-day moving average, a closely watched momentum indicator.



GBP/USD

Read: Brexit Brief: Trick or treat? New Halloween deadline for U.K. Prime Minister

In the U.S., the greenback is trying to avoid a fourth consecutive losing session. The ICE Dollar Index,












DXY, +0.17%










 a measure of the greenback’s strength versus six of its major trading partners, was trading at 97.045, up 0.1%. The index is down 0.3% this week.

“Leveraged money positioning is still inhibiting USD strength, but on the flip side, FX investors are in a data-dependent state as far as global growth risks are concerned,” wrote Stephen Gallo, European head of FX strategy at BMO Financial Group.

The dollar got a boost when economic data showed producer prices climbed 0.6% in March. Economists polled by MarketWatch expected a 0.3% increase.

Additionally, jobless claims fell below 200,000 for the first time since 1969, for the week ending April 6.

The better-than-expected data saw U.S. equities eking out mild gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average












DJIA, +0.05%










 rose 50 points, or 0.2%, the S&P 500












SPX, +0.06%










 was up 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite












COMP, -0.06%










 gained less than 0.1%.

Read: The joy ride for stocks from central banks is over, says strategist

Meanwhile, the euro












EURUSD, -0.0887%










 was homing in on a 2 1/2-week high near the psychologically important $1.13 level and was last trading at $1.1277, up less than 0.1%.

“The mechanics of the low-volatility dynamic in the FX options space also implies a reasonably well supported EUR for the time being too,” Gallo added.

Read: Eurozone inflation seen weaker-than-forecast: ECB

Elsewhere, the Japanese yen












USDJPY, +0.46%










 weakened against the dollar following the upbeat economic data. A single dollar last bought ¥111.45, compared with ¥111.01.

Read: Guggenheim says next recession will be less severe — but the ensuing stock market fall will be brutal

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