GBP/USD drops to key support as fears of hard Brexit returns

The pound was hit by a double whammy of bad news this morning.

The pound was hit by a double whammy of bad news this morning. First and foremost, it was reports that the UK government will block the EU transition extension beyond 2020, raising concerns that this could potentially result in a hard Brexit. Then, the latest wages data came in below expectations while unemployment claims grew more than anticipated. As a result, the GBP/USD further extended its post-election losses to hit a low so far of 1.3156. But at the time of writing, the cable was coming off its worst levels as the buyers attempted to defend a key short-term support level around 1.3180.

No extension to Brexit transition period

The pound fell and UK Brexit-linked stocks took a hit this morning after Boris Johnson said there will be no extension to the transition period. Investors were worried that this may mean the UK could still crash out of the EU without a trade deal. The Prime Minister was previously expected to extend the end of 2020 deadline, so that the government would be able to negotiate a good trade deal given that so much time had been wasted during this year.

UK wages disappoint

The pound was also hit by disappointing UK data. Weekly wages increased by 3.2% year-on-year in the three months to October. This was weaker than 3.4% expected and was down from an upwardly revised 3.7% in September. Jobless claims also disappointed at 28,800 vs. 21,200. However, the unemployment rate remained steady at 3.8%, beating forecasts for a rise to 3.9%. Meanwhile, a closely-watched survey of about 550 manufacturers asking respondents to rate the relative level of order volume expected during the next 3 months, fell further below zero to indicate expectations are for lower order volumes. CBI’s Industrial Order Expectations index printed -28 vs. -25 expected and -26 last.

Coming up: US data dump and UK CPI

The focus for GBP/USD market participants will turn to the data dump in the US later, when we have the latest Housing Starts, Building Permits, Industrial Production, JOLTS Job Openings and IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism figures. Then the focus will return back to the UK as the latest inflation data is published on Wednesday morning. UK CPI is seen falling further below the Bank of England’s 2% target to 1.4% from 1.5% previously. Core CPI is expected to have remained unchanged at 1.7%. And RPI is seen edging down to 2.0% from 2.1% last.

GBP/USD testing key support

Source: Trading View and City Index.

The cable was clinging onto key support around the 1.3180 level at the time of writing. As per the hourly chart, this was the breakout area when the exit polls were released on Thursday night. The big jump from this level meant that price had effectively gapped higher, but it has now returned to fill this inefficiency. Therefore, if support holds here, then it is reasonable to expect price to stage its next up leg in the days ahead.  However, a failure and we could be talking about 1.3000 again. Short-term resistance comes in at 1.3250, followed by 1.3320. These levels were formerly support.


This report is intended for general circulation only. It should not be construed as a recommendation, or an offer (or solicitation of an offer) to buy or sell any financial products. The information provided does not take into account your specific investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs. Before you act on any recommendation that may be contained in this report, independent advice ought to be sought from a financial adviser regarding the suitability of the investment product, taking into account your specific investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs.

StoneX Financial Pte. Ltd., may distribute reports produced by its respective foreign entities or affiliates within the StoneX group of companies or third parties pursuant to an arrangement under Regulation 32C of the Financial Advisers Regulations. Where the report is distributed to a person in Singapore who is not an accredited investor, expert investor or an institutional investor (as defined in the Securities Futures Act), StoneX Financial Pte. Ltd. accepts legal responsibility to such persons for the contents of the report only to the extent required by law. Singapore recipients should contact StoneX Financial Pte. Ltd. at 6826 9988 for matters arising from, or in connection with the report.

In the case of all other recipients of this report, to the extent permitted by applicable laws and regulations neither StoneX Financial Pte. Ltd. nor its associated companies will be responsible or liable for any loss or damage incurred arising out of, or in connection with, any use of the information contained in this report and all such liability is hereby expressly disclaimed. No representation or warranty is made, express or implied, that the content of this report is complete or accurate.

StoneX Financial Pte. Ltd. is not under any obligation to update this report.

Trading CFDs and FX on margin carries a high level of risk that may not be suitable for some investors. Consider your investment objectives, level of experience, financial resources, risk appetite and other relevant circumstances carefully. The possibility exists that you could lose some or all of your investments, including your initial deposits. If in doubt, please seek independent expert advice. Visit for the complete Risk Disclosure Statement.