1. Sterling Rises To 11-Week High On Brexit Optimism
Sterling scaled an 11-week high on Friday after The Sun reported that Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party has privately decided to offer conditional backing for Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal next week. The pound has climbed about 1.8 percent this week, moving above the key psychological level of $1.30 to the dollar on hopes the United Kingdom might avoid a no-deal Brexit on March 29. The GBPUSD was last seen trading 0.3% higher at $1.3102 as of 8:05 GMT this morning.*
2. Oil Prices Jump After US Threatens Venezuela With Sanctions
Oil prices rose on Friday as turmoil in Venezuela triggered concerns that its oil exports could soon be disrupted. On Thursday, Washington threatened to impose new sanctions on Venezuela’s crude exports as Caracas descends further into political and economic turmoil. International Brent crude oil futures (CL_BRENT) were at $61.55 a barrel at 8:05 GMT, up 45 cents, or 0.75 percent, above their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (USOIL) crude futures were last at $53.67 per barrel, up 54 cents, or 0.96 percent.**
3.Gold Prices Rise As US Government Shutdown Continues
Gold prices edged higher on Friday amid concerns that a prolonged U.S. government shutdown could exacerbate an already slowing global growth. Investors are worried about the economic impact of the longest U.S. government shutdown in history, now in its 34th day, with two bills to end the partial shutdown failing to win enough votes in the Senate. Spot gold (XAUUSD) rose 0.2 percent at $1,284.84 per ounce, as of 8:10 GMT.***
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*Source: Forbes, Jan 25, 2019 3:25 AM GMT
**Source: Reuters, Jan 25, 2019 4:16 AM GMT
***Source: CNBC, Jan 25, 2019 3:03 AM ET
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