Sep 20, 2019

British pound hits 2-month high as no-deal Brexit fears fade

Photo: John Lamb/Getty Images

The British pound rose to a 2-month high against the dollar Thursday as hopes are again rising that the U.K. will avoid a no-deal Brexit.

Driving the news: European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in an interview yesterday he expects Brussels to reach a deal with Britain to leave the EU with a deal in place to avert a messy break-up.

  • “I think we can have a deal,” Juncker said in an interview with Sky News. “I am doing everything to have a deal because I don’t like the idea of a no-deal because I think this would have catastrophic consequences for at least one year.”

Background: Sterling had fallen to its lowest since 1985 against the dollar in August as Boris Johnson took over as prime minister, but has since risen more than 5 cents against the greenback.

Go deeper

Hope for Brexit deal pushes pound to 3-month high

Data: Investing.com; Chart: Axios Visuals

British politicians, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, are urging caution on optimism for a possible Brexit deal between the U.K. and EU and say there remains "significant" work to be done, but investors have thrown caution to the wind and bet big on the British pound.

Why it matters: The pound surged to its highest against the dollar since July on Friday, jumping nearly 2%. That followed a similar 1% jump on Thursday, marking sterling's biggest 2-day gain since before the June 2016 vote to leave the EU.

Go deeperArrowOct 14, 2019

The ups and downs of the British pound

Data: Money.net; Chart: Axios Visuals

The British pound jumped to a fresh 5-month high on news that a Brexit deal had been reached between U.K. and European Commission negotiators, but petered out nearly as quickly after the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party said it would not vote for the deal.

The big picture: Sterling fell below $1.28 before steadying again, closing closer to its highs on the day than its lows as investors retained some optimism.

Go deeperArrowOct 18, 2019

Johnson reaches Brexit deal, but needs Parliament's approval

The man with the deal. Photo: WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced this morning that he's reached a "great new" Brexit deal with the European Union — a statement almost unforeseeable one week ago, when Johnson seemed to be steaming toward a constitutional crisis over a potential "no deal" Brexit on the Oct. 31 deadline.

Between the lines: Johnson's deal is similar to the one his predecessor, Theresa May, saw repeatedly rejected in Parliament (including by Johnson), with some tweaks around the crucial issue of Northern Ireland.

Go deeperArrowOct 17, 2019