Spain and Holland to push for Soft Brexit agreement

BloombergPound to euro exchange rate Bloomberg data showed sterling opened on 1.1260 this morning

The pound jumped in Friday's European session as it seemed a softer Brexit could be on the horizon, say currency experts FC Exchange.

The two countries' foreign ministers had agreed to work together for a divorce deal that would maintain a close relationship between the European Union and Britain.

The gains came after Bloomberg reported that the Spanish and Dutch finance ministers had agreed to work together for a Brexit agreement that maintains close ties between the European Union and Britain, in what would be a clear divergence in views among the 27 European Union member states about how to treat Britain after it leaves.

"We'll need substance in these reports plus a transition deal and positive United Kingdom data to keep the pound supported here", said Viraj Patel, a currency strategist at ING Groep NV. Sterling's rally came after news that European countries Spain and the Netherlands would be open to the United Kingdom having a softer Brexit.

Sterling was already gaining on Friday before the report, helped by demand for euros and the continued weakness for the dollar, before spiking higher.

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Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at ETX Capital, said: "Although the comments came from just two ministers who don't necessarily speak for the Barnier team as such, there is a sense that the direction of travel for the United Kingdom with regards Brexit is a lot more positive than it was prior to December".

The pound climbed against a host of other majors on Friday, including the euro (GBP/EUR) and US dollar (GBP/USD).

"Even as someone who is long the pound, I'm sceptical this is a game changer at this stage", he said.

The pound was 0.2% higher against the euro at €1.12810 after the single currency hit a three-year high against the dollar following hopes that chancellor Angela Merkel would be able to form.

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