British pound lethargic in post-holiday session

GBP/USD has posted slight losses in the Tuesday session.

In North American trade, GBP/USD is trading at 1.2953, down 0.21% on the day. On the release front, there are no British events. In the U.S., the House Price index slowed to 0.3%, shy of the estimate of 0.6%. Later in the day, the U.S. releases new home sales and the Richmond manufacturing index. On Tuesday, the U.K. releases public sector net borrowing.

British lawmakers return to work on Tuesday after a short break, and it’s a safe bet that Brexit will be high on the agenda. However, there is another departure date being discussed besides Britain leaving the EU.

Some Conservative MPs plan to tell Prime Minister May to name her exit date, or else she will be ousted in June. May has been unable to pass the withdrawal agreement through a divided parliament, and her days could be numbered at 10 Downing Street.

While the currency markets have been listless during Easter week, oil prices have jumped. Crude has jumped to a 5-month high after the Trump administration announced that it would terminate sanction waivers given to some importers of Iranian oil, as of May 1. This move is intended to further tighten sanctions against Iran and cripple Iranian oil exports.

The move has been bitterly criticized by Iran, which has upped the ante by threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz, a critical gateway for seaborne oil shipments. The rising geopolitical temperature could further boost oil prices, which are up 50% since December. Higher oil prices could weigh on economic growth and send nervous investors to the safety of the U.S. dollar./marketpulse.com

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