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Pound will rise against all G-10 peers this year, says Goldman

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The pound may advance against all its Group-of-10 (G-10) peers this year as the risk of a no-deal Brexit has been declining, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

[SINGAPORE] The pound may advance against all its Group-of-10 (G-10) peers this year as the risk of a no-deal Brexit has been declining, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Sterling has strengthened for five straight weeks as the defeat of Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plan last Tuesday was seen boosting the prospects of a second referendum that may result in the UK staying in the European Union. The premier is expected to present a new proposal to Parliament Monday.

"We would read the developments over the last week as pointing toward a later, softer Brexit or potentially no Brexit at all," Zach Pandl, co-head of global currency and emerging-market strategy at Goldman Sachs, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television.

"We think it'll be the highest-performing G-10 exchange rate this year," he said of the pound.

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The pound will appreciate more than 5 per cent by year-end to US$1.36, which would make it the third-best performing G-10 currency in the period, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists and strategists. At the same time, sterling has the most bearish skew in its option prices, as measured by three-month risk reversals, suggesting investors remain concerned over potential downside risks.

There's little prospect of cross-party Brexit talks yielding a workable alternative to the plan that Parliament rejected last week, Mrs May told her Cabinet on Sunday, according to two people who were on the conference call. The pound dropped 0.1 per cent to US$1.2859 in early Asian trading on Monday.

"There is still plenty of uncertainty, but we think there are a lot of upside risks to the pound," Goldman's Mr Pandl said.

BLOOMBERG