British Finance Minister Philip Hammond said on Friday he was sure Britain will reach an agreement with the European Union on its exit from the bloc by an informal October deadline, in contrast to growing expectations will bail out of the EU with a no-deal Brexit. When asked if that was still likely to happen by October, he added: “I’m sure we’ll get there.”
The European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said that he was willing to consider new ways to solve the Irish border issue, the toughest of remaining issues in Britain’s exit negotiation. He has been very concerned about the Irish border issue but that the EU was open to discussing different - possibly dispersed and new technological - ways of checking goods crossing the UK-Irish border. Sterling rose to a one-week high after Barnier’s testimony was reported.
On Friday in the US Average hourly earnings rose 2.9 percent for the month, while nonfarm payrolls grew by 201,000. Economists surveyed had been expecting earnings to rise 2.7 percent, payrolls to increase by 191,000 and the jobless level to decline one-tenth of a point to 3.8 percent. Wage growth jumped to the highest since April 2009. Average hourly earnings increased 10 cents for the month to $27.16. The metric is closely watched as an inflation gauge at a time when the Federal Reserve has been raising interest rates in part to guard against runaway cost pressures. Market participants widely expect the Fed to hike its benchmark rate another quarter point in September and likely add one more increase in December.
09:30 – GBP: UK GDP (July) expected to be higher at 0.3% from 0.1%