Pound sterling US dollar exchange rate closed the session just marginally higher at US$1.2957 after hitting a 4-day peak of US$1.2991 earlier in the day.
The pair is edging lower in early trade on Thursday.
The pound pared gains as attention turned back towards Brexit ahead of the start of trade deal talks next month. The European Parliament approved a tough opening position for negotiations with the UK regarding the future relationship with the EU.
The UK will have to align closely and follow EU policies on a whole range of areas in order to achieve an ambitious far reaching trade deal. There are signs that the language being used by the EU is toughening up. When the first draft was released in early February there was no mention of alignment. However, the most recent version is clear that alignment is a prerequisite.
This, however, also means that there is less chance of Boris Johnson accepting such a deal and more chance of no trade deal being agreed. These fears of a no trade deal Brexit will keep sterling pressurized over the coming months.
The dollar jumped higher in the US session on Wednesday as Jerome Powell had his second consecutive testimony before congress and as investors digested stronger than forecast mid tier data. Jerome Powell stuck with his cautiously optimistic message once again saying that he saw no reason why the US economic expansion couldn’t continue
Today the dollar remains in demand as flows into safe havens are on the rise again following a jump in the number of coronavirus cases. 242 deaths were recorded from Hubei province on Wednesday, the deadliest day of the outbreak. There was also a huge increase in the number of people infected, by 14,840.
US inflation data could push the dollar higher still. Analysts are expecting US inflation to increase 0.3% month on month in November, ahead of the 0.2% increase in December. On an annual basis inflation, as measured by the consumer price index is forecast to increase 2.5%, up from 2.3%. This still comfortably over the Fed’s 2% target. However, Jerome Powell has often said that he is comfortable with an over shoot in inflation.