After Monday’s table-topping performance, Tuesday was a much poorer day for the GBP which fell against four of the five other currencies we follow closely here. The biggest fall (-0.7%) came against the NZD but losses elsewhere came against the EUR, CAD, AUD and NZD. The low point for GBP/USD was early in the London morning at 1.3820 and the pair rallied exactly one cent when the USD came under pressure after the news North Korean was offering to ‘de-nuclearise’. By the end of the day, however, the GBP had fallen more than a quarter of a cent from its high, leaving it back on a 1.38 big figure which is where it has traded throughout the overnight session in Asia and this morning in Europe.
The Guardian newspaper has the full 8-page text of a leaked document from the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union. This was issued to representative of all 27 EU States and covers the “Lines To Take” on Theresa May’s Brexit speech last Friday. It said the Prime Minister had promised clarity on Britain’s hopes for a future trading relationship, but described the model she proposed as unworkable and “double cherry-picking”. It also claimed there had been “zero progress” when it came to ideas for customs cooperation. The paper concluded that, “Like with PM May’s previous speeches, she addressed more her domestic audience, trying to bridge the gaps between the two poles of the debate on Brexit in the UK. While the speech was long on aspirations, it was short on workable solutions that would respect the EU27 principles.”
The last in a series of Brexit speeches by Cabinet Ministers is due to be made today by the Chancellor Philip Hammond. According to the BBC, the Chancellor will refer to past attempts at forging a free trade agreement between the US and Europe. He will argue that in 2014 the EU itself pursued ambitious financial services co-operation in its proposals for TTIP [the now aborted Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership], which it described as a partnership that would be, 'more than a traditional free trade agreement'. Mr. Hammond’s argument, the BBC claims, is that if the EU was willing to include financial services in TTIP, it should be equally willing to include them in a Brexit deal for the UK. It’s a nice try, but goes against everything we have thus far heard from the EU over the last few months. The British Pound opens in North America at USD1.3865, GBP/EUR1.1155 and GBP/CAD1.7930.