The pound extended losses amid renewed political uncertainty over the UK’s plan to exit the European Union, while the dollar mostly traded in a small range ahead of tier-one economic data expected later this week.
Sterling breached key technical support at 1.2200 per dollar for the first time since January 18 amid concern Prime Minister Theresa May could face another setback in her effort to trigger Brexit as lawmakers demand more power to shape the final deal she reaches with the EU. In addition, the pound sentiment was also weakened by data showing the pace of UK annual house-price growth slowed, adding weight to predictions of an economic slowdown.
The Aussie gained after the Reserve Bank of Australia said the global economy has improved while local consumption growth was stronger. It pared gains thereafter as traders took note of the RBA’s warning over the negative effects of a strong currency.
Despite persistent Brexit uncertainties, upcoming euro-area elections and rising expectations for an imminent US interest-rate increase, global currency volatility remains in its downward trajectory this year. Demand to own gamma for the short term remains relatively low, despite sporadic increases, according to traders in Europe.