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FX round-up: Pound little changed despite polls, Chilean and Colombian peso unloved

By Alexander Bueso

Date: Thursday 28 Nov 2019

LONDON (ShareCast) - (Sharecast News) - The pound was little changed on Thursday, despite the release of poll data predicting a big win for Conservatives at the next general elections and a strong reading on UK consumer confidence.
That was likely because many traders were away from their desks on account of the Thanksgiving Day holiday Stateside, although several key Latin American currencies were continuing to come under heavy selling pressure.

As of 1613 GMT, sterling was 0.20% softer against the euro and trading at 1.1725 and off by 0.12% versus the US dollar to 1.2905.

In parallel, the US dollar spot index was down by 0.01% to 98.3650, although earlier in the same session it had fallen to 98.2640.

Euro/dollar meanwhile was up by 0.04% to 1.10065.

Investors also appeared to brush off the possible implications of the US President's decision overnight to sign into law a bill forcing the State Department to certify each year that Hong Kong has sufficient autonomy from Beijing to justify its trading priviliges with the US.

China's foreign ministry did not comment on any potential countermeasures, but a spokesman reportedly said: "You better stay tuned, and follow up on this," he said. "What will come will come."

Closer to home, the closely-followed MRP poll from YouGov for the The Times, which was also released overnight, predicted a 68 seat lead for the Tories in the next Parliament.

That was followed early on Thursday morning by the results of the European Commission's survey of UK consumer confidence showing a two point rise in November to reach -9.0 - a four-month high.

To take note of, the bulk of the survey was conducted before 17-18 October, when the Prime Minister managed to clinch his deal with the European Union's council of presidents.

Nonetheless, Claus Visten at Pantheon Macroeconomics cautioned that any recovery in economic sentiment in Britain, should the Tories win and quickly pass their withdrawal agreement, may prove fleeting, as the risk of a hard Brexit at the end of 2020 remained a risk.

Not to lose sight of, the Chilean and Colombian pesos both plumbed fresh record lows on the back of recent street riots and ensuing concerns around the political stability of both countries, at least in the near-term.

The US dollar was adding 1.17% against the Chilean currency to 828.36 - having appreciated by roughly 40.0% since its 2018 lows - and was 0.11% stronger against Colombia's to 3,513.0.