The pound strengthened against its major opponents in the European session on Wednesday, following media reports that the U.K. government has promised to publish concrete details to resolve the post-Brexit border issue in Ireland ‘imminently’.
The Times reported that Irish officials have been promised to furnish concrete details on what alternative plans the UK government has, beyond the so-called backstop plan.
The report showed that the plans, which are at an advanced stage, are expected to be revealed “imminently” to avoid a hard border with Northern Ireland.
Since the Irish border issue remained as a road block in Brexit talks, investors welcomed signs of a breakthrough on the solution.
The latest JobsOutlook survey by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation showed that more British employers make hiring plans as Brexit countdown begins.
About 22 percent of employers who hire temporary agency.
The Distribution Trades Survey from the Confederation of British Industry showed that UK retail sales are forecast to rebound in April after declining for the first time since October 2017.
About 32 percent of retailers said that sales volumes were up in the year to March, whilst 40 percent said they were down, giving a balance of -8 percent.
The pound strengthened to 1.3486 against the Swiss franc, its highest since January 25. The pound is seen finding resistance around the 1.37 region.
Switzerland’s KOF Economic Institute upgraded its economic outlook citing improved economic situation of major trading partners and the depreciation of the Swiss franc against the euro.
In the Spring Forecast, the think tank said gross domestic product is forecast to grow 2.5 percent this year instead of 2.3 percent estimated in December.
The pound firmed to a 2-day high of 0.8734 against the euro and held steady thereafter. The pair closed Tuesday’s trading at 0.8759. The next possible upside target for the pound is seen around the 0.86 level.
Survey data from the market research group GfK showed that German consumer confidence is set to improve in April.
The forward-looking consumer sentiment index rose unexpectedly by 0.1 point to 10.9 in April. The score was forecast to fall to 10.7.
The pound extended rally to 150.02 against the yen, from Tuesday’s closing value of 149.10. On the upside, 151.00 is seen as the next resistance level for the pound.
On the flip side, the pound pared gains to 1.4134 against the greenback, from an early high of 1.4200, and held steady thereafter. Next key support for the pound is seen around the 1.39 level.
Looking ahead, U.S. GDP data for the fourth quarter, wholesale inventories and pending home sales for February are scheduled for release in the New York session.