Johnson and Corbyn Trade Verbal Punches in First Election Debate
After a strong start to the week – inspired by Mr Jonson’s claim that all Tory election candidates will back his Brexit deal – the pound vs US dollar rate weakened slightly yesterday. This was partly due to the CBI Industrial Trends Survey, which revealed that UK manufacturing activity remains weak. Attention soon turned to the first televised head-to-head debate between the leaders of the Conservative and Labour parties. Could Mr Johnson gain the upper hand and give the pound a boost in the process, or would Mr Corbyn outperform his rival, denting hopes that the Brexit deadlock can be broken?
Everyone waited with bated breath for them to lock horns over the issue that forms the cornerstone of the election campaign and was responsible for the whole thing happening in the first place: Brexit. Mr Johnson promised to “end this national misery” and claimed Labour offered “only division and deadlock”. While Mr Corbyn said Labour would “get Brexit sorted by giving you, the people, the final say”.
The public appeared evenly split on who had won the debate, according to a snap YouGov poll “with most Labour voters thinking Jeremy Corbyn won, most Conservative voters thinking Boris Johnson won”.
Impeachment Inquiry Impacts Dollar
An absence of significant economic data at the start of the week helped to keep a lid on dollar volatility, after President Trump’s reluctance to roll back tariffs had stoked the flames in the US-China trade war. CNBC reported that Beijing is pessimistic about a deal being passed, due to Trump’s stance on tariffs.
Hopes were high that a meeting between Mr Trump and Fed Chair Jerome Powell could spark some life in the dollar. However, in the end, this proved to be a rather “cordial” affair; not the ding-dong some had hoped for. Instead, the currency came under pressure from the ongoing impeachment inquiry, which looks set to hot up this week, as several senior national security officials take to the dock. Mr Trump is accused of abusing his power to pressure Ukraine into making political favours.
The Federal Reserve’s October policy meeting minutes – which should offer more clarity on the bank’s monetary policy plans for 2020 – will be the main catalyst for movement in the GBP to USD rate today.
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