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The pound paired with the dollar today updated three-week highs, reaching the middle of the 22nd figure. The fundamental picture of today did not portend such price leaps: the European voyage of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was more of a formal nature, and Thursday's economic calendar for the GBP/USD pair is completely empty. Nevertheless, bulls of the pair found a reason for the upward impulse - and this reason was provided to them by none other than German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Exchange Rates 23.08.2019 analysis

Looking ahead, it is worth noting that the pound is now growing more on emotions - traders of the pair have been trading in constant fear and pessimism about the Brexit prospects for too long. Therefore, when among the gloomy news background a ghostly, but still "light at the end of the tunnel" had appeared, the pound's reaction was not long in coming. Moreover, at the beginning of today the head of the German government met her colleague from Britain with rather harsh rhetoric. She stated that "Britain has 30 days to resolve the Brexit issue to find an alternative to backstop." French President Emmanuel Macron, in turn, noted that there is no more time for additional negotiations on a new agreement - the parties need to build on the main positions of the agreements already reached. Boris Johnson, in his peculiar manner, "accepted the challenge" of Berlin and said that he would spend 30 days allotted to him to convince the EU that there was a viable alternative to the "back-up" mechanism.

This rhetoric did not surprise, but did not upset, investors: even on the eve of Johnson's visit, it became clear that the parties would defend their positions. Earlier this week, the British prime minister sent a written appeal to the head of the European Council, Donald Tusk, with a request to review the deal, primarily regarding the prospects for the Irish border. Brussels rejected the offer and lamented that London did not offer constructive ideas for alternatives to backstop.

In other words, traders were prepared for the fact that the parties at the meeting would only repeat the theses already voiced and disperse "in the corners of the ring" without any result. However, Angela Merkel still went beyond investors' expectations: she announced that London and Brussels will try to create a system that, firstly, preserves the terms of the Belfast Agreement, and secondly, retains Northern Ireland's access to the single EU market. In other words, we are talking about the notorious alternative to the backstop mechanism. The German chancellor emphasized that the parties will try to find a compromise solution in a relatively short time, that is, until October 31. Summing up, Merkel emphasized that London "can still solve the crisis."

In my opinion, the German Chancellor accidentally remembered the Belfast Agreement - after all, the issue of the Irish border is considered not only in terms of economic and customs barriers. Let me remind you that for half a century, there has been a bloody ethnopolitical conflict on the island of Ireland - the rebel forces sought the withdrawal of Northern Ireland from the UK with the subsequent accession to the Republic of Ireland. According to various estimates, about four thousand people died during the long-running conflict. A ceasefire was reached only in 1998, when the parties entered into the aforementioned "Belfast Agreement". The main points of this agreement state that the Northern Irish separatists renounce their territorial claims, and London, in turn, introduces local government and Parliamentarism in this region.

Exchange Rates 23.08.2019 analysis

In addition, the agreement reached eliminated the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and since then there has been a special economic zone regime. If London upsets this fragile balance that has been successfully working over the past 20 years, Britain could return to the chaos of political confrontation with the separatist forces of Northern Ireland. In particular, last year the Northern Irish party Sinn Fein announced that it was initiating a new referendum on accession to the Republic of Ireland. Under the conditions of a hard Brexit, taking into account possible economic losses and the effect of a tight border, the outcome of such a referendum is not difficult to predict.

Obviously, both London and Brussels are well aware of the risks they face. That is why the current (albeit symbolic) step of Merkel allowed the pound to demonstrate a significant correction throughout the market, including paired with the dollar. However, long positions on the GBP/USD pair currently look risky - after all, we must not forget that the parties only promised to "consider various options". And it is far from a fact that the proposed options will ultimately be agreed/approved by Johnson, the European Union and, ultimately, by the deputies of the House of Commons. Therefore, with a high degree of probability, the spring of nervousness will continue to contract to a certain limit, putting pressure on the foot. But if the parties still find a compromise and the likelihood of a deal will increase again, this "spring" will fire an impulsive price increase, and marks 1.25-1.27 will not be any limit.

*The market analysis posted here is meant to increase your awareness, but not to give instructions to make a trade.

Uitgevoerd door Irina Manzenko,
Analytische expert
InstaForex Group © 2007-2019
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