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  • GBP/USD has recovered from earlier lows in the low 1.3300s to trade close to the middle of its recent range at 1.3350.
  • Brexit talks drag on with no sign of any breakthrough just yet, feeding into rangebound GBP/USD conditions.

GBP/USD has recovered sharply from 1.3310ish lows from earlier on in the session and is back to trading flat on the day around 1.3350.

Cable content to range within 1.3300-1.3400 range as markets wait for Brexit deal

GBP/USD again failed to hold onto gains in the upper 1.3300s during Friday’s European morning session. The tone of news on the state of Brexit negotiations has again been negative and has weighed slightly on the currency:

  • A UK source confirmed that there has been no progress yet on fisheries or level-playing field but suggested that talks are likely to continue into next week and possibly even longer.
  • EU Brexit Negotiator Michelle Barnier echoed the sentiment of EU Commission President von der Leyen a few days earlier, saying he still could not say if there would be a deal. Barnier is travelling to London on Friday evening to continue discussion with counterpart UK Brexit Negotiator David Frost. Barnier’s briefing to EU envoys on Friday morning did not present a “particularly bright picture”, according to EU sources.
  • One EU source said there was growing “exasperation” within European governments about the chances of a deal.
  • News surfaced of an EU offer to the UK where the EU would reimburse the UK with 15-18% of the value of all fish caught in UK waters (around EUR 117M), an offer that was swiftly rebuffed by the UK.

Put more simply, the two sides are still not in agreement and time is fast running out. Even if the two regions can come to an agreement, say by the end of next week, it is far from certain that the EU parliament would be able to get the legislation on the new trading arrangement into law prior to the end of the transition period in a little over a month.

But given how strongly a deal fits in the interests of both sides, markets still seem to very much expect that something will be agreed sooner or later. Hence, buyers rushed in ahead of 1.3300 and pushed the pair back to trade flat on the day around 1.3350.

Elsewhere, the news that the Covid-19 reproduction rate, or R rate, had slipped beneath 1.0 again, according to the latest estimates, also seems to be helping GBP back off lows. The R rate is now estimated to be between 0.9 and 1.0, with the number of new infections per day seen dropping 0.0-2.0% per day.

GBP/USD carves out 1.3300-1.3400 range

Rangebound financial market conditions were expected on Thursday and Friday (and will likely continue into next Monday), given the US Thanksgiving holiday. GBP/USD has certainly conformed to this, with the pair seemingly having settled within an approximate 1.3300-1.3400 range on the week.

An upside break of this range, perhaps triggered by an extension of USD weakness or by signs of progress on key sticking points in Brexit talks, would open up the opportunity for a run at early September highs at just above the psychological 1.3500 level. Prior to that, there is little by way of notable levels of resistance.

A downside break of this range, perhaps triggered by a broad recovery in USD or signs that Brexit talks are beginning to fall apart, would see GBP/USD having to contend with a number of near term support levels, including; the 24 November low at 1.3293, the 23 November low at 1.3264 and then below that the 19 November low at the psychological 1.3200 level.

GBP/USD hourly chart


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