The Great Britain pound was mostly flat today despite concerning Brexit news headlines. While the sterling was trading either near the opening level or slightly higher against most of its rivals, it fell versus the Canadian dollar.
The European Union and the United Kingdom decided yesterday to prolong Brexit talks beyond the October 15 deadline. But it seems that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to walk away from the negotiations as his spokesman said:
The trade talks are over – the EU have effectively ended them yesterday when they said they did not want to change their negotiating position.
Johnson also confirmed that Britain should prepare for a no-deal scenario:
I concluded that we should get ready for 1 January with arrangements that are more like Australia’s – based on simple principles of global free trade
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen responded to the statement by twitting:
🇪🇺-🇬🇧 talks: the EU continues to work for a deal, but not at any price.
As planned, our negotiation team will go to London next week to intensify these negotiations.
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) October 16, 2020
Various EU leaders also said that they want to continue attempts to find a compromise. The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier is planning to come to London next week for the next round of negotiations. But the Downing Street signaled that there is no reason for him to come unless the EU will change its stance.
Despite the seemingly bad news, the sterling remained largely unfazed. It suggests that the market considers all the strong statements to be just posturing, and traders are still pricing in some form of an agreement.
GBP/USD traded at 1.2912 as of 18:05 GMT today after opening at 1.2902. GBP/CHF was at about 1.1815 after opening at 1.1805. At the same time, GBP/CAD fell from 1.7070 to 1.7021.
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