Pound Set for Wild Brexit Ride: Strategists See Possible Range of 10%

© Bloomberg. A pile of 50 British pound sterling banknotes sit under a service counter window in this arranged photograph at a currency exchange store in Brussels, Belgium, on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019. “There is not an awful lot to say today because we don’t know what our British friends are going to do after the vote in Parliament yesterday,” Margaritis Schinas, spokesman for the European Commission, told reporters in Brussels. Photographer: Yuriko Nakao/Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) — The pound may end the day anywhere in a range of 10 percent given the gulf between possible outcomes to Tuesday’s Brexit vote, according to strategists.

Sterling may slide as much as 8 percent if U.K. lawmakers dismiss Prime Minister Theresa May’s latest Brexit deal with the European Union when they vote on Tuesday night, according to Commonwealth Bank of Australia. The currency may climb 2 percent, building on this year’s 3.7 percent advance, if the U.K. avoids a hard Brexit, National Australia Bank Ltd. says.

The U.K. currency is continuing to swing in a wide range, said Joseph Capurso, senior currency strategist at Commonwealth Bank in Sydney. “We believe the pound would fall 4 percent to 8 percent if the Parliament agrees to a hard Brexit.”

The pound rallied as much as 1.1 percent in early Asian trade Tuesday after May struck a deal with the European Union to revise the terms of the U.K.’s exit from the bloc following talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Strasbourg.

The gains have seen sterling become the best-performing Group-of-10 currency this year as the prospects of a resolution to the tortuous Brexit progress have improved as the March 29 deadline approaches. The pound traded at $1.3218 as of 11:25 a.m. in Singapore.

“We remain optimistic that a hard Brexit will be avoided, and that in our view should put a floor on GBP,” said Rodrigo Catril, a senior foreign-exchange strategist at National Australia Bank in Sydney.

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