Sterling falls as doubts about Brexit backstop hopes grow

There was hope that Prime Minister Boris Johnson would make gains on Brexit during his tour of Europe – but this is now looking less likely. (File/AFP)
Updated 23 August 2019

Sterling falls as doubts about Brexit backstop hopes grow

  • Sterling fell 0.5% to $1.2197 on Friday, retreating from the 3-week high hit on Thursday
  • Angela Merkel previously suggested a solution to the Irish border question could be found

LONDON: The pound on Friday gave back some of the gains it made the day before as investors reassessed whether British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had made any progress in convincing the European Union to renegotiate the Brexit withdrawal agreement.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s comments on Thursday that a solution to the Irish border question post-Brexit could be found before Oct. 31, the deadline for Britain to leave the EU, triggered a sharp rally in the pound.
But many analysts said the comments reflected market positioning rather than any confidence Britain and the EU would renegotiate their agreement to avoid a no-deal Brexit.
“The market is very short and that is naturally going to make the market very sensitive to any news (that makes them think)...have we got this wrong?,” said Jane Foley, a strategist at Rabobank.
“I’ve not read an awful lot into these moves,” she said, adding that thin summer liquidity had exacerbated this week’s volatility.
Sterling fell 0.5% to $1.2197 on Friday, retreating from the 3-week high hit on Thursday.
Versus euro the pound was down 0.4% on the day at 90.770 pence.


World should back Vision 2030 strategy says global risk guru

Updated 22 November 2019

World should back Vision 2030 strategy says global risk guru

  • Ian Bremmer: When I see how much more dynamic Riyadh is compared to two years ago, it’s really undeniable that they are actually trying to modernize society
  • Bremmer: They are hosting the G20, and that could help to make them confident enough to push forward on a resolution to the Qatar issue

BEIJING: The world should back Saudi Arabia’s transformation strategy under Vision 2030 despite the challenges the Kingdom has faced, according to Ian Bremmer, one of the leading political risk advisers in the world.

“When I see them moving toward Saudization, when I see how much more dynamic Riyadh is compared to two years ago, it’s really undeniable that they are actually trying to modernize society. I think that’s really important and we should all be rooting for that process to continue,” he told Arab News on the sidelines of the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Beijing.

He said that the ongoing reforms in the Kingdom were helping it rebuild its international reputation following criticism over the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year. “They are hosting the G20, and that could help to make them confident enough to push forward on a resolution to the Qatar issue.”

“It would be nice if there could be some reduction in the problem with Qatar, and some reintegration of the GCC, and there has been some progress toward that. The fact that we have a peace deal in south Yemen, that will make a difference too, and hopefully it will reduce some of the tension with Iran as a consequence,” he added.

Bremmer was speaking about climate change and other issues at the forum, at a session that acknowledged the difficulty of meeting targets to get rid of fossil fuels by the year 2050. He also talked about the looming “technology wars” between China and the US.