Following the euphoria over the decisive UK election result and the US/China "Phase 1" trade deal markets look primed to end the year on a positive footing. Two of the major risk factors threatening to detail market sentiment into year end have at least been lifted. However, some reality may begin to set in early into 2020, with investors recognizing that there are still major issues to be resolved both between the UK and Europe and between the US and China,

Although full details have yet to be revealed, Chinese officials will likely be relieved that the hike in tariffs scheduled for December 15 will now not go ahead. However, there are still questions on how China will ramp up its purchases of US agricultural goods anywhere near the $40-50bn mark that has been touted.

Also the dollar amount of the roll back in US tariffs is relatively small at around $9bn, which hardly moves the needle in terms of helping China's growth prospects. "The United States will be maintaining 25 percent tariffs on approximately $250 billion of Chinese imports, along with 7.5 percent tariffs on approximately $120 billion of Chinese imports." This still means that a substantial amount of tariffs on Chinese goods remains in place.

According to Trade Rep. Lighthizer, the deal will take effect 30 days after its signing, likely in early January. To sustain any improvement in sentiment around trade prospects there will need to be some concrete progress in removing previous tariffs as well as progress on structural issues (state subsides, technology transfers etc) in any Phase 2 or 3 dealss. The bottom line is that agreement in principle on "Phase 1" will need to be followed by further action soon, otherwise market sentiment will sour.

In the UK Prime Minister Johnson now has the votes to move forward with Brexit on January 31 but that will leave only 11 months to negotiate a deal with the EU. The transition period finishes at the end of 2020 unless of course there is an extension, something that Johnson has ruled out. In the meantime the immediate focus will turn to the next Bank of England governor replacing Mark Carney. This decision could take place this week. Markets will also look to what fiscal steps the government will take in the weeks ahead.

GBP has rallied strongly over recent days and weeks, extending gains in the wake of the Conservative Party election win. However, further gains will be harder to achieve given the challenges ahead. UK equities have underperformed this year and are arguably relatively cheap from a valuation perspective, but further gains will also involve removing or at least reducing much of the uncertainty that has kept UK businesses from investing over recent months. In the near term GBPUSD could struggle to break above 1.35 unless there is progress on the issues noted above.

The views expressed here are purely personal and do not represent the views or opinions of Calyon.

The information published at econometer.org and republished at FXstreet.com has been prepared on the basis of publicly available information and other sources believed to be reliable. Whilst all reasonable care is taken to ensure that the facts stated are accurate, the author is not in any way responsible for the accuracy of its contents. The comments are intended to provide clients with information and should not be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell securities, currencies or any other financial product. The author makes no recommendations as to the merits of any financial product referred to in this website, emails or its related websites and the information contained does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation and needs. Therefore you should consider whether these products are appropriate in view of your objectives, financial situation and needs as well as considering the risks associated in dealing with those products.

Analysis feed

FXStreet Trading Signals now available!

Access to real-time signals, community and guidance now!

Latest Analysis


Latest Forex Analysis

Editors’ Picks

EUR/USD extends losses toward 1.1250 amid coronavirus concerns

EUR/USD is trading closer to 1.1250 as concerns about US coronavirus cases are growing. Eurozone finance ministers are meeting ahead of next week's summit.  US PPI and updated COVID-19 statistics are awaited.

EUR/USD News

GBP/USD pressured under 1.26 amid risk-off mood, Brexit uncertainty

GBP/USD is trading below 1.26, off the highs. Rising US coronavirus cases are pushing markets lower and the safe-haven dollar higher. Concerns about Brexit and the UK refusal to participate in the EU coronavirus vaccine scheme are weighing on sterling. 

GBP/USD News

Gold refreshes session tops, moves back above $1800 mark

The prevalent risk-off mood assisted gold to reverse an early dip to the $1796 region. A modest pickup in the USD demand might cap any further gains for the commodity. Investors also worried about the possibility of further escalation of Sino-US tensions.

Gold News

Canada Net Change in Employment June Preview: June is looking better and better

Job gains expected to more than double in June. Unemployment rate to drop to 12% from 13.7 in May. Ivey PMI was twice its forecast in June, highest since Nov 2019. USD/CAD would benefit from better June job figures.

Read more

WTI drops to fresh weekly lows below $39 amid virus risks, IEA forecast

WTI (August futures on Nymex) extends the steep declines seen on Thursday to drops over 1.50% in the European session this Friday. The oil bears breach the 39 level to hit the lowest levels in eight days at 38.76.

Oil News

Forex Majors

Cryptocurrencies

Signatures