Britain waits on PM’s speech

Sterling traded within a tight range against the dollar today while investors waited for a speech by British Prime Minister Theresa May in which she is expected to try to rescue stalled Brexit talks.

Investors will watch to see if May can offer enough to European Union negotiators to persuade them to move talks forward, without angering members of parliament who have the power to destabilise her government.

One of the issues May is expected to address in her afternoon speech in the Italian city of Florence is Britain’s exit bill, which Brussels has demanded progress on before talks can progress.

Sterling had risen against the dollar on Thursday after the BBC reported May will say Britain is willing to pay 20 billion euros ($24 billion) to the EU during a post-Brexit transition period, but only if it has access to the bloc’s single market.

The temptation is to say that because much of the content of the speech has been widely reported on already, that the impact on the currency will be small.

Investors will also be watching out for the debt rating from credit ratings agency Moody’s later in the day.

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