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December 2017

Sterling hampered by Irish border talks

Published: Thursday 07 December 2017

  • Sterling hampered by Irish border talks
  • Aussie trade surplus slumps
  • Canadian base rate on hold
By David Johnson

Australian Dollar weakens after all

The Australian Dollar weakened overnight after a sharp narrowing in Australia’s trade surplus was announced. A 3 percent fall in exports saw the surplus drop from A$1.6 billion in September to just A$105 million in October. That overnight news reignited market activity after a lacklustre Wednesday.

No surprises from Bank of Canada or European Central Bank this time… 

The Bank of Canada (BoC) left their base rate on hold at 1% yesterday and the European Central Bank’s (ECB) meeting was a ‘non-policy’ one, so no change there. This morning brings the final figure for Q3 economic growth in the Eurozone. It is unlikely we will see any change from the 0.6% estimated previously, but odder things have happened. We will also get a speech from the ECB’s president, so all eyes will be on that at 4:00pm UK time.

Brexit bullying the Pound

Sterling is being bullied around by Brexit speculation; the Irish border issue being the latest hurdle. There is nothing new in that, but it does make it tricky to budget and plan. The broad range in the GBPEUR rate is €1.11 to €1.14 right now and the GBPUSD rate is balanced between $1.31 and $1.34. So at least we have some boundaries to work with. I read two reports today that suggest the Pound is destined to both fall to parity with the Euro and rally to 1.53 against the US Dollar. Both are unlikely, but the disparity highlights the uncertainty that the Pound faces.

Could there be fireworks on Friday?

Thursday’s data diary is a reasonably quiet one, but Friday offers all manner of data to chew on. Here’s something else to chew on in the meantime. Did you know that there is an actual measure of time called ‘a jiffy’. It is 1/100th of a second. So by the time someone says they’ll be back in a jiffy, they have already lied. 
Advent Calendar Door 7th December

Thought for the day

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.


Today's Major Economic Releases

Market BST Data/Event Previous Expected
EUR 10:00 EU: Revised Gross Domestic Product 0.6% 0.6%
CAD 13:30 Canada: Building Permits 3.8% 1.7%
USD 13:30 US: Unemployment Claims 238k 239k
CAD 15:00 Canada: Ivey Purchasing Managers' Index 63.8 62.7
EUR 16:00 European Central Bank President Draghi Speaks    

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