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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.

  • "We think that the gains in sterling are sustainable, because even though Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces an uphill battle to collect all of the votes needed from lawmakers to seal the deal, members of Parliament won't want to risk another 3 years of policy gridlock or worse — an unruly no-deal Brexit," Kathy Lien, managing director of FX strategy at BK Asset Management, said.
  • "This is the closest we've been to an orderly exit in years and probably the best deal they'll get from the EU."

Go deeper

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus

Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and his wife, Pamela, both tested positive for coronavirus, his office announced on Friday.

The state of play: The Northams were tested after one of their staff "who works closely within the couple's living quarters" tested positive. The governor is asymptomatic, while his wife is "experiencing mild symptoms." They plan to isolate at home for 10 days.

Ina Fried, author of Login
38 mins ago - Technology

Amazon wants to flood America with Alexa cameras and microphones

Photo: Amazon

In a Thursday event unveiling a slew of new home devices ahead of the holidays, Amazon made clearer than ever its determination to flood America with cameras, microphones and the voice of Alexa, its AI assistant.

The big picture: Updating popular products and expanding its range to car alarms and in-home drones, Amazon extended its lead in smart home devices and moved into new areas including cloud gaming and car security. The new offerings will also fuel criticism that the tech giant is helping equip a society built around surveillance.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Oil's turbulent long-term future

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The oil sector is facing risks from all sides.

Why it matters: Risk in the industry is nothing new. But these are especially turbulent and uncertain times. The industry's market clout has waned, the future of demand is kind of a mystery, and future U.S. policy is too, just to name three.

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