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Pound US dollar exchange rate: GBP/USD rises on Brexit progress, FOMC wary about rate hike

A meeting between Mrs May and the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, was reported as “constructive” but offered no signs of a significant breakthrough. 

The PM quelled fears of a possible no-deal Brexit, however, saying: “Time is of the essence and it’s in both our interests that when the UK leaves the EU it does so in an orderly way.”

The FOMC minutes, meanwhile, referenced patience several times and highlighted a split between policy members regarding future rate hikes. 

The meeting minutes stated: “[In] light of global economic and financial developments… the committee could be patient as it determined what future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate may be appropriate to support these outcomes.”

While the Fed hasn’t ruled out further rate hikes, its cautious attitude failed to lend the US dollar support. 

Meanwhile, US political tensions continue to mount, with the House Democrats filing a bill to block President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration over the controversial Mexican border wall.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi commented: “The President’s decision to go outside the bounds of the law to try to get what he failed to achieve in the constitutional legislative process violates the Constitution and must be terminated.”

In more positive US news, trade talks between the US and China are said to be progressing positively ahead of the March 1 “trade truce” deadline. 

David Joy, a Chief Market Strategist at Ameriprise, remained cautious, however, saying: “[It] is difficult to anticipate how comprehensive any trade deal with China might be, or how business and investors will react to it… But for now, both sides are saying that progress is being made.”

The pound remained trading in a slightly stronger position against the US dollar today as UK public finances hit a record monthly surplus due to strong income tax revenue. 

The US dollar could strengthen later in the session however following the publication of the US durable goods orders data. 

The report is expected to show an impressive surge in orders. 

However, the pound may be able to keep the pound at bay if it appears that the UK and EU are reaching a workable consensus on the contentious issue of the Irish backstop. 

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