Spain and Holland to push for Soft Brexit agreement

Spain and Holland to push for Soft Brexit agreement

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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