November 15, 2018 / 4:36 PM / a month ago

FOREX -Sterling sags on Brexit fears, traders favor yen, dollar

    * UK Brexit minister's resignation hits pound
    * Brexit uncertainty feeds safe-haven demand for dollar, yen
    * Dollar's gains limited by cautious remarks from Fed's
Powell
    * Aussie gains after strong jobs data, Kiwi follows
    * Graphic: World FX rates in 2018 tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

 (Updates market action, changes dateline, previous LONDON)
    By Richard Leong
    NEW YORK, Nov 15 (Reuters) - The sterling tumbled on
Thursday after British ministers resigned in protest against a
draft Brexit agreement, rekindling fears of a chaotic departure
for Britain from the European Union in 4-1/2 months.
    Traders flocked into the perceived safety of the dollar and
yen as the pound swung wildly this week over Brexit. On
Thursday, British Prime Minister Theresa May said she won the
backing of her senior ministers for a draft divorce deal, but 
many in her government are unconvinced and on Friday her Brexit
minister Dominic Raab, and other ministers, resigned.

    "Heightened political uncertainty in the UK kept the pound
on volatile ground," Western Union Business Solutions analysts
wrote in a research note. "Sterling was spellbound, alternating
between gains and losses, after Britain’s Brexit minister
resigned."
    Raab's resignation left May battling for survival as well as
trying to win over her Conservative Party to support the EU
withdrawal agreement. 
    At 11:02 a.m. (1602 GMT), sterling was down 1.65
percent at $1.2768.
    Against the euro, it was 1.71 lower at 88.57
pence.
    Reports out of Italy that Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte was
looking to work with the EU over his government's 2019 budget,
which has been rejected by Brussels, to avert massive fines had
earlier helped support Italian government bond markets and the
euro.    
    The single currency held steady versus the greenback
 at $1.131, but it fell 0.19 percent to 128.235 yen.
    "The dollar is benefiting from the sterling crash," said
Manuel Oliveri, FX strategist at Credit Agricole.
    An index that tracks the greenback against six major
currencies was up 0.3 percent at 97.098. It touched a
16-month high of 97.693 on Monday.
    The dollar was down 0.21 percent at 113.38 yen.
    Analysts said the dollar's gains on the back of the sterling
slump were contained after some cautious comments about the
economic outlook from Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell
overnight.
    The Australian dollar rose 0.32 percent to $0.7259
on stronger-than-expected domestic jobs data. The New Zealand
dollar was up 0.44 percent.
========================================================
    Currency bid prices at 11:08AM (1608 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
                                              Session                                           
 Euro/Dollar      EUR=        $1.1309        $1.1308     +0.01%         -5.73%      +1.1351     +1.1271
 Dollar/Yen       JPY=        113.3600       113.6100    -0.22%         +0.61%      +113.6700   +113.1100
 Euro/Yen         EURJPY=     128.20         128.49      -0.23%         -5.16%      +128.8400   +127.7800
 Dollar/Swiss     CHF=        1.0065         1.0056      +0.09%         +3.30%      +1.0076     +1.0037
 Sterling/Dollar  GBP=        1.2767         1.2994      -1.75%         -5.51%      +1.3029     +1.2752
 Dollar/Canadian  CAD=        1.3220         1.3237      -0.13%         +5.11%      +1.3249     +1.3209
 Australian/Doll  AUD=        0.7259         0.7234      +0.35%         -6.95%      +0.7298     +0.7229
 ar                                                                                             
 Euro/Swiss       EURCHF=     1.1383         1.1378      +0.04%         -2.63%      +1.1407     +1.1346
 Euro/Sterling    EURGBP=     0.8857         0.8706      +1.73%         -0.29%      +0.8864     +0.8699
 NZ Dollar/Dolar  NZD=        0.6817         0.6797      +0.29%         -3.80%      +0.6827     +0.6788
 Dollar/Norway    NOK=        8.4893         8.5047      -0.18%         +3.44%      +8.5286     +8.4649
 Euro/Norway      EURNOK=     9.6012         9.6191      -0.19%         -2.51%      +9.6314     +9.5893
 Dollar/Sweden    SEK=        9.0546         9.0837      -0.31%         +10.40%     +9.1145     +9.0362
 Euro/Sweden      EURSEK=     10.2407        10.2730     -0.31%         +4.08%      +10.2847    +10.2407
    

 (Additional reporting by Tommy Wilkes, Saikat Chatterjee in
LONDON
Editing by David Stamp and Raissa Kasolowsky)
  
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