There is general sense of uncertainty in the markets Monday morning, driven by European political turmoil and new developments in the China-U.S. trade truce. The dollar is up across the board against its major peers as risk-aversion spreads.
Report: Brexit vote delayed
This week will determine the future of the E.U.-U.K. Brexit deal…or so we thought. There are reports this morning that U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May will delay the parliamentary vote that is scheduled for tomorrow in order to avoid possible defeat.
Downing Street has denied the claims that May is seeking to delay the vote, but there is also a press conference scheduled for 3:30 p.m. GMT/10:30 a.m. EST when she is scheduled to speak along with commons leader Andrea Leadsom and Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay.
The pound dipped on the news as uncertainty drives investors to the safe-haven of the dollar.
GBP/USD started the day around the 1.27 midpoint before falling to 17-month lows around 1.262.
Earlier in the morning U.K. time, the European Court of Justice released its ruling saying that the U.K. could unilaterally cancel Brexit without the approval of the 27 other E.U. member countries.
U.S. trying to separate trade from Huawei arrest
The agreement between the U.S. and China to pause on tariffs for 90 days was put on thin ice at the end of last week when Canada arrested China-based Huawei’s CFO at the request of the U.S.
There is outrage in China over the arrest and U.S. officials are trying not to let it impact trade negotiations. However, U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad was summoned to explain why the U.S. wanted Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou. Branstad and White House officials insist Trump did not know about the arrest when he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Argentina on Dec. 1.
Meanwhile, U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer insists the arrest is a separate issue. He declared March 1 as the deadline for the trade truce.
The overall uncertainty is driving the U.S. dollar higher. EUR/USD edged lower to 1.140 Monday morning after starting the day closer to 1.144.
The greenback is also up against the Canadian dollar at 1.334 as oil prices dip lower. A barrel of West Texas Intermediate is back down in the $51 range.
The U.S. dollar is even gaining against the traditionally more safe-haven Japanese yen.
Japanese GDP misses
The greenback’s gains against the Japanese yen while uncertainty permeates the markets are due to worse-than-expected data out of Japan.
The Q3 GDP for Japan slowed more than expected QoQ, coming out at -0.6% growth instead of the -0.5% estimated. Annualized, the figure fell 2.5%, more than the -1.9% growth expected.
USD/JPY is climbing up from the lows of 112.2 to 112.9 this morning.