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Pound gets a boost from news that UK and EU agree text on future ties.

By Alex Edwards

The pound gapped more than 100 points higher against the dollar on Thursday as news broke that the UK and EU had agreed a draft text on future ties between the two following the UK’s exit on 29th March. It paves the way for the EU27 to approve it at Sunday’s EU Summit, albeit last minute changes are being made to address some concerns expressed by Spain on any future decisions made about Gibraltar. May goes back to Brussels on Saturday to discuss this in more detail, but the PM has since said the deal is “within our grasp”, a definite positive for the pound, despite lingering doubts it will be approved by Parliament in early December.

GBP/USD has traded a steady range since the news broke and opens this morning at 1.2870. Theresa May will be talking in the media today, and will of course sound positive about the deal and upcoming Brexit related events. Related headlines and generally thinner liquidity may make for another potentially volatile day ahead.

Trading in the greenback was relatively subdued yesterday for Thanksgiving, perhaps a little weaker if anything. We may be in for more of the same today without any data events due and with many traders taking the day off after Thanksgiving yesterday.

The euro appreciated against the greenback on Thursday following news that a draft agreement for Brexit has been approved in principle between the UK and EU Commission. The single currency tracked GBP/USD higher, despite Italy refusing to change their stance on their budget.

EUR/USD has gapped lower this morning, however, in reaction to a plethora of weaker than expected PMIs released from Germany and the Eurozone in the last hour or so, and it opens this morning at 1.1380.

With very little in the way of local economic data, the Australian dollar struggled to mount any significant directional momentum through trade on Thursday. Liquidity was also thin with the US celebrating their annual Thanksgiving holiday, as well as a Japanese public holiday today.

Despite the thin trading conditions, due to the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States, the Canadian Dollar did manage to marginally appreciate against its Southern neighbour.

There was little to excite markets on the public holiday but the CAD did receive a slight boost as risk sentiment began to recover. The loonie was also well supported by a slight increase in oil prices but as with most things during the session, it was a marginal change at best.

Moving into the close of the week it’s set to be a busy one for USD/CAD traders with month-on-month CPI readings and Core Retail Sales due this afternoon.

Like the AUD/USD pair, NZD/USD has traded a narrow range over the last 24 hours. With kiwi traders continuing to take their cue from developments in global risk sentiment and global equity prices, many will have a close eye on political uncertainty in the UK as well as the dynamic US-China trade war situation.