17/12/2018 - MPs May Still Back Deal

GBP

At a summit in Brussels Theresa May said it is still possible to get the assurances MPs need to back her Brexit deal, despite EU leaders ruling out any renegotiation. May said there was "work to do" but talks on "further clarification" would continue.

The UK PM admitted a "robust" discussion with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, after he complained about "nebulous and imprecise debate". Video footage of Mrs May and Mr Juncker captured a tense exchange on Friday morning after his remarks the previous night.

May told reporters: "I had a robust discussion with Jean-Claude Juncker - I think that's the sort of discussion you're able to have when you have developed a working relationship and you work well together. She travelled to Brussels to make a special plea to EU leaders after delaying Tuesday's Commons vote on the deal, in anticipation of a heavy defeat.

USD

The Dollar strengthened on Friday after US retail sales topped forecasts in November jumping by the most in a year and October figures were revised higher, indicating consumers are giving a bigger boost to the economy than expected this quarter.

The value of overall sales rose 0.2 percent alleviating some concerns that growth is significantly weakening and should bolster views that consumer strength is extending into the fourth quarter following two periods of robust gains. Lower fuel prices may have given a lift to other retail categories, as Americans took advantage of Black Friday sales that kicked off the holiday-shopping season.

The gain also reinforces analysts expectations that the Federal Reserve will lift interest rates next week for the fourth time this year. The figures may support the case for further tightening in 2019 after economists marked down their projected paths for borrowing costs.

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