24/01/2017 - Markets Await Supreme Court Ruling 

GBP

Britain's pound surged to its highest in five weeks on Monday as investors priced in a defeat for the government in its appeal against a ruling that forces it to consult parliament before formally triggering EU exit talks in March. British Prime Minister Theresa May will learn at 0930 GMT today whether judges have upheld a High Court decision in November that her government must get parliamentary approval before triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the formal means of exiting the bloc.

While the thrust of the case centres on whether the British parliament has to give its assent, the judges also heard arguments from the Scottish government and lawyers for Northern Irish challengers that Britain's devolved assemblies must give their approval too.

Should the court agree - an outcome ministers believe is unlikely - an ongoing political breakdown in Northern Ireland could derail May's timetable, following the collapse of the province's power-sharing government.

May has said she will trigger Article 50 by the end of March, and last week detailed her vision for a clean break with the EU by quitting its single market. Though that effectively meant Britain would undergo the "hard Brexit" many investors have feared, May's relatively conciliatory tone and the fact that she had removed a layer of uncertainty was interpreted as a positive by markets.

USD

The  Dollar continued to weaken off yesterday  as fears that the new US president could spark trade wars with China, and other countries close to home. These concerns were further exacerbated  after US media reported that Trump will sign an executive order today to start the renegotiation of NAFTA, A free trade agreement currently in place between the US, Canada & Mexico.

Trump also signed an executive order formally withdrawing the United States from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal on Monday, following through on a promise from his campaign last year.

The New  U.S President  also met with a dozen prominent American manufacturers at the White House on Monday, promising that he would slash regulations by up to 75%  and cut corporate taxes, but warned them of penalties if they moved production outside the US.

Trump promised to bring manufacturing plants back to the United States and has not hesitated to publically  name companies that he thinks should bring outsourced production back onshore. He told the chief executives that he would like to cut corporate taxes to the 15 percent to 20 percent range, down from current statutory levels of 35 percent.

Key Announcements

09:30 – GBP: EU Membership Supreme Court Ruling