Pound Edges Up as May Seeks Another Brexit Delay; U.S. Dollar Flat
The British pound inched up on Tuesday in Asia as U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May prepared to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron later in the day before setting out the case for another Brexit delay at a EU summit on Wednesday.
The GBP/USD pair was up 0.1% to 1.3078 by 11:30 PM ET (03:30 GMT).
The European Union has to decide at the summit whether it’s willing to push back the deadline for the U.K.’s departure beyond the default date of Friday.
Markets widely expect the EU to offer some sort of extension as it prefers to avoid a “no-deal Brexit” scenario that would badly disrupt the Irish economy.
Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies was little changed at 96.613.
A broadly positive U.S. employment report on Friday added to the belief that the Federal Reserve won’t raise interest rates this year and may even cut them.
Factory goods orders data that came out overnight were largely in line with expectations and did little to ease worries about a slowdown in the economy.
The Chinese yuan was unchanged at 6.7138 as traders wait for further trade news between the U.S. and China.
Clete Willems, a top White House trade official, told Reuters in an interview that Washington is “not satisfied yet” about certain details in trade negotiations with China.
"We're making progress on a range of things, and there’s some stuff where we're not satisfied yet," Willems said. "It should be a good sign for people that we're not rushing into this we want to get it right and we need to nail down specifics."
The two sides are set to resume trade discussions remotely this week.
The USD/JPY pair was down 0.1% to 111.36.
The AUD/USD and the NZD/USD pair both rose 0.2% to 0.7135 and 0.6746 respectively.