LONDON (Reuters) – The pound rose 0.4% on Friday after three days of declines, trading close to its biggest weekly loss since 2017 after gains last week on the Conservatives’ clear election win were erased by the resurfacing risk of a no-deal Brexit.
FILE PHOTO: Wads of British Pound Sterling banknotes are stacked in piles at the Money Service Austria company’s headquarters in Vienna, Austria, November 16, 2017. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
The pound did not react on Friday after lawmakers, as widely expected, voted by a large margin to pass Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s European Union exit deal.
His Withdrawal Agreement Bill is a mixed bag for pound traders. It creates some certainty in that it fixes the EU departure date as Jan. 31, but it revives the risk of a no deal as it bans any extension of a post-Brexit negotiating period scheduled to run to December 2020.
The pound was up 0.4% versus the dollar at $1.3058, having slipped below $1.30 in overnight trading.
Against the euro it was up around 0.8% at 84.88 pence, a move partly explained by euro weakness .
Sterling has fallen around 2% this week, having lost all its election-night gains.
“Johnson is determined to leave the EU and could do that without a trade agreement in place, so this has re-ignited concern about a hard Brexit,” said Piotr Matys, an FX strategist at Rabobank.
Chris Graham, senior economist at Standard C