© Reuters.

By Yasin Ebrahim

Investing.com – The pound jumped against the dollar Wednesday as the U.K. and EU are set to resume Brexit talks after Britain welcomed the economic bloc’s desire to break the impasse in negotiations.

rose 1.73% to $1.3129, its highest level since March.

Post-Brexit trade talks are set to get underway on Thursday after EU Brexit negotiator Michael Barnier said a deal was in reach, and pledged to “seek the necessary compromises on both sides.”

“Despite the difficulties we’ve faced, an agreement is within reach. If both sides are willing to work constructively, if both sides are willing to compromise,” Barnier said in a speech.

The U.K. signaled it was ready to intensify talks to thaw key sticking issues including fishing rights, and sovereign aid.

“It is clear that significant gaps remain between our positions in the most difficult areas but we are ready, with the EU, to see if it is possible to bridge them in intensive talks,” a spokesman for the government said, according to U.K. media reports.

The pound was also helped by easing fears over negative rates after Deputy Bank of England Governor Dave Ramsden said cutting rates below zero could hamper lending activity.

“While there might be an appropriate time to use negative rates, that time is not right now,” Ramsden said.

The sense of urgency to explore options to boost the economy comes in the wake of a surge in Covid-19 infections that have forced the government to impose new lockdown measures in parts of the country.

The U.K. reported record 26,688 coronavirus cases on Wednesday, compared with 21,331 yesterday.

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2020-10-21