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Sterling holds on to gains as Brexit talks continue

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On Thursday, the Office for National Statistics reported that manufacturing output rose 0.2 percent in September, after rising 0.9 percent in August and rising less than analysts had expected by 1 percent.

GBPSterling gained for a second week in a row last week, climbing 0.23 percent against the US dollar to close the week at 1.3186.

This week was crucial for negotiations on a post-Brexit trade deal, although the two sides were unable to reach an agreement. Britain’s chief Brexit negotiator, David Frost, has insisted that the UK is not changing its position in upcoming trade talks, while the EU does not appear to be giving up on its demands either. The Internal Market Bill remains a controversial point of discussion as Ireland expects the trade deal will not be ratified if the UK decides to implement it.

“Even if we manage to negotiate a new trade deal on both sides, if the UK government is determined to go ahead with its Internal Market Bill and reintroduce the parts of that bill that were removed by the House of Lords this week, then I think it’s a deal, which the EU will not ratify,” said Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney.

The Office for National Statistics said September’s unemployment rate of 4.8 percent remained in line with analysts’ expectations and beat the 4.5 percent increase from the previous month.

The Claimant Count Change shrank by 29,800 after falling by 40,200 in the previous month and below analysts’ expectations of 36,000. The claimant count change was 7.3 percent, down from 7.4 percent the previous month .

The British Retail Consortium reported like-for-like retail sales rose 5.2 percent, down from September’s 6.1 percent and below analysts’ expectations of 8.4 percent. Average earnings including bonuses rose 1.3 percent in September, after rising 0.1 percent in August, and beating analysts’ expectations of 1.1 percent. Average earnings excluding bonuses rose 1.9 percent after rising 0.9 percent in the previous month and beating analysts’ estimates of 1.5 percent.

On Thursday, the Office for National Statistics reported that manufacturing output rose 0.2 percent in September, after rising 0.9 percent in August and rising less than analysts had expected by 1 percent. It fell 7.9 percent year-on-year after falling 8.3 percent in the previous month and below analysts’ expectations of 7.4 percent.

Industrial production rose 0.5 percent after rising 0.3 percent, missing analysts’ expectations for a 0.8 percent gain. Gross domestic product rose less than expected to 15.5 percent (quarter-on-quarter) in the third quarter, following a 19.8 percent decline in the previous quarter. Gross domestic product fell more than expected year-on-year, falling 9.6 percent after falling 21.5 percent in the previous quarter.

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