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British Pound Jumps as Parliament to Vote (Again) on Brexit

GBP/USD has posted considerable gains on Tuesday. In North American trade, the pair is trading at 1.3263, up 1.27% on the day. In economic news, BoE Governor Mark Carney testified at the quarterly inflation report hearings. In the U.S., construction numbers were mixed. CB Consumer Confidence sparkled, with a score of 131.4, well above expectations. As well, the Richmond Manufacturing Index jumped to 16 points, a 5-month gain. All eyes are on Fed Chair Jerome Powell, who is testifying before the Senate Banking Committee. On Wednesday, Powell speaks before the House Financial Services Committee.

With just over a month until Brexit Day, there is plenty of activity in London and Brussels. British Prime Minister May said on Monday that parliament would have the opportunity to vote on the government’s withdrawal agreement no later than March 12. If lawmakers shoot down that proposal, they will vote the next day on two separate proposals – one on a no-deal Brexit, and the second on requesting the EU to extend Article 5 and delay Brexit past March 29. May’s dramatic announcement is sure to trigger plenty of reaction in parliament, so traders should be prepared for volatility from the pound, ahead of next week’s drama in parliament.

The Federal Reserve is back in the spotlight this week, as Fed Chair Jerome Powell testifies before congressional committees on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Fed has been decidedly dovish early in 2019, in sharp contrast to 2018, when the Fed raised rates four times in order to keep the red-hot U.S. economy from overheating. However, the global trade war has taken a bite out of global growth, and the U.S. economy is unlikely to repeat last year’s performance. The markets will be listening closely for hints regarding future interest rate policy.

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