Markets flat ahead of Brexit vote

Stocks higher as MPs prepare for Brexit vote

Profit taking over the last couple of days doesn’t appear to have taken its toll on investors, with futures mixed on Tuesday as attention temporarily shifts across the pond.

Brexit may be more of a domestic issue for the UK, with the potential consequences for the rest of the EU less severe, but it’s safe to say that today it will be taking the lion’s share of the attention, as far as markets are concerned. The vote, which follows five days of debates in parliament, is scheduled to take place around 7pm in the UK and will likely be a source of significant volatility for the pound in particular.

Theresa May would appear to stand little chance of getting her deal through at the first time of asking which makes the margin of her defeat the key determinant in how the markets will respond. I think it’s safe to say that a shock victory for May and her deal would be very positive for the pound, both because of the softer Brexit it would ensure and the uncertainty and risk of no deal Brexit that would be removed. They chances of that happening appear very slim though today.

GBPUSD Daily Chart

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We’ve seen some decent gains in the pound over the last 48 hours or so on the back of the assurances provided by the EU and suggestions that some eurosceptics are planning to back her deal. This leaves the pound potentially vulnerable to buy the rumour, sell the fact moves, if the vote goes roughly as expected. This would likely involve defeat but not the devastating and humiliating kind that May fears.

Ultimately, defeat today doesn’t really matter and doesn’t kill May’s deal. Rather, it’s a box ticking process that begins puts in motion other options being considered, including a no confidence vote and second referendum. Only once these options have been exhausted will we get a real idea of whether May’s deal will pass, but that will take time, which could mean an extension to exit date.

DAX slips as German growth falls to 5-year low

Oil higher alongside improvement in risk appetite

Oil is making steady moves higher again on Tuesday as an improvement in overall risk appetite takes further pressure off prices. The output cut agreed between OPEC+ is expected to support prices in longer term but they came under further pressure at the back end of last year as markets tumbled and global growth fears became heightened.

Oil (WTI and Brent) Daily Chart

The sell-off was likely exacerbated by the time of year on which it fell which would explain why we’re seeing a bounce, alongside that in equity markets. Over the coming weeks and months, I expect downside in oil will be limited unless we see a surprising lack of compliance among participating producers, which was not the case previously.

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This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Craig Erlam

Craig Erlam

Senior Currency Analyst at OANDA
Based in London, England, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a Market Analyst. With more than five years' experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while conducting macroeconomic commentary. He has been published by The Financial Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Telegraph, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Sky News, Bloomberg, CNBC and BBC. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and he is recognized as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.