© Bloomberg. A collection of five, ten, twenty and fifty British pound banknotes stand in this arranged photograph in London, U.K., on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016. The U.K. currency is getting harder to trade, and to predict, because the nation’s exit from the European Union has changed the rules of engagement. Photographer: Miles Willis/Bloomberg
(Bloomberg) — The British pound gained modestly after Parliament wrestled control of the Brexit process away from Prime Minister Theresa May, but the currency remained firmly ensconced within its recent range.
Sterling advanced as much as 0.2 percent to $1.3224 in Asia-Pacific trading Tuesday, before slipping back to around $1.3211 as of 7:50 a.m. in Tokyo.
The move came after the House of Commons voted 329 to 302 to strip power away from May over what happens next in the U.K.’s divorce from the European Union. That paves the way for members of Parliament to demand she pursues radical Plan B options, potentially including a second referendum, keeping the U.K. in the European Union’s customs union, or even canceling Brexit.
Janu Chan, a senior economist at St. George Bank in Sydney, said she doubted that the pound would push substantially higher in the short-term, because there’s a lot of uncertainty and it will be difficult to get majority support for one of the many possibilities.
The U.K. currency had climbed as high as $1.3246 on Monday and has swung within a range of $1.2949 to $1.3381 this month.
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