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Sterling traders seek new indicators as Westminster goes quiet

Parliament may now be closed but it is proving to be an interesting week for the pound. We saw some violent price action yesterday, with the pound initially rising on the back of some very positive UK jobs data and wage growth figures. This saw it hit 1.238 vs USD at one stage before it was sold down again to under 1.231, likely on profit taking from large actors in the market.

Later in the day we saw a second rally and overnight some violent moves, between the 1.234 and 1.2369 level.

On paper the jobs data looks good for the UK economy. With the news flow out of Westminster toned down, some investors are reverting back to economics. There are also indications that the government is creeping closer to an agreement with the EU on the Northern Ireland backstop.

Ocado leads FTSE up in early trading

The FTSE opened up this morning and we are seeing buying in several big names, with no bias towards sector. Ocado, JD Sports, NMC Healthcare and Legal and General lead a pack of stocks which are up over 2% this morning.

Asian markets cautiously optimistic ahead of ECB meeting

Asian markets were cautiously up overnight but there now seems to be plenty of focus on the ECB meeting tomorrow, where the bank is expected to take Euro rates deeper into negative territory. There was also some positive sentiment out of China where the government has decided to suspend tariffs on 16 types of US exports, which is widely being seen as a conciliatory move ahead of renewed talks.

Bolton sacking sees oil at new level

In the US the big overnight news was the sacking of National Security Advisor John Bolton. This was immediately seen as a potential defusing of tensions with Iran. Oil dropped suddenly from 63.79 (Brent) to under 62.20 in a very short period of time. The reaction was possibly too extreme, as oil has been climbing slowly back overnight and is now at 62.90.

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