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Microsoft ends Windows 7 support: What should you do?

Cyber-security experts are urging Windows 7 users to upgrade their operating system.

Microsoft is going to stop supporting Windows 7 from Tuesday so that it can focus on “newer technologies”.

As a result, Windows 7 users will no longer receive the all-important security updates and patches that keep their machines safe.

One in four Windows users is running Windows 7, according to statistics website StatCounter.

What does this all mean?

It means that Microsoft is ending the cat-and-mouse game with hackers seeking to exploit software bugs in the Windows 7 operating system.

If perpetrators find a flaw in Windows 7, Microsoft will not fix it.

Without continued software and security updates, Windows 7 machines are more likely to be infected with viruses and malware, Microsoft wrote on its website.

“Running an unpatched machine means that the flaws in the code will never be fixed and as exploits for those flaws become known and widespread, your chances of being successfully attacked grow very rapidly,” said Rik Ferguson, vice-president of security research at Trend Micro.

David Emm, a senior security researcher at Kaspersky Lab, added that people need to move to a supported operating system as soon as possible.

What are the risks?

Hackers use malware to invade, damage or disable computers.

It can be used to steal personal and financial data, spy on other users without them knowing, and to hold companies to ransom until a payment is made.

In May 2017, the NHS was hit by the WannaCry ransomware attack.

A government report in 2018 concluded that the attack could have been avoided if NHS Trusts had updated their computers and applied the necessary security patches.

Hackers exploited weaknesses in unpatched versions of Windows 7, as well as to a lesser extent the earlier Windows XP, which Microsoft had stopped supporting.

What should you do with your Windows 7 PC?

Computers running Windows 7 will still function after Tuesday but they will become less and less secure.

Microsoft is urging people to move to Windows 10, a newer operating system that it sells for £120.

“Going forward, the best way for you to stay secure is on Windows 10,” it said. “And the best way to experience Windows 10 is on a new PC.”

It is possible to install Windows 10 on old PCs but Microsoft warns that it may not run smoothly.

In order to run Windows 10, PCs must have a 1GHz processor, 16GB of hard drive space, and 1GB of RAM memory.

“While it is possible to install Windows 10 on your older device, it is not recommended,” Microsoft said.

That said, Windows 7 users do not need to upgrade if they use their PC offline.

What do UK officials say?

UK authorities have warned Windows 7 users not to do internet banking or send emails after Tuesday.

The warning was issued by the National Cyber Security Centre, which is part of Britain’s intelligence agency GCHQ, and first reported by The Telegraph,.

“We would urge those using the software after the deadline to replace unsupported devices as soon as possible, to move sensitive data to a supported device and not to use them for tasks like accessing bank and other sensitive accounts,” an NCSC spokesperson told the BBC.

“They should also consider accessing email from a different device.”

What about for businesses?

Some companies rely heavily on applications that only work with Windows 7.

Businesses can pay Microsoft if they want to continue getting updates for Windows 7 Professional or Windows 7 Enterprise.

The Windows 7 Extended Security Updates will be available until 2023 for businesses of all sizes.

Charges range from $ 25 (£19) per device to $ 200 per device and increase each year. The costs will mount quickly for organisations with lots of computers.

For businesses, it is not always easy to upgrade to a newer operating system, Mr Ferguson said.

“There may be business-critical applications that will not run on newer operating systems, or there may be significant costs associated with upgrading those applications,” he said.

Places like hospitals and factories may have equipment that is designed to run exclusively on Windows 7.

“The user is not always able to upgrade without voiding the warranty,” said Mr Ferguson.

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Dollar continues slide as yuan strengthens and GBP finds support

© Reuters.  © Reuters.

Investing.com – The U.S. dollar continued to retreat on Monday morning in Asia, with the greenback sliding for the third day in a row.

The was down 0.17% to 96.75 by 10:30 PM ET (03:30 GMT).

The dollar lost ground against most currencies in the region with relatively thin trading ahead of the New Year Holiday on Wednesday.

The pair was up 0.24% to 0.6994 and the was up 0.27% to 0.6716.

The pair was down 0.28% to 109.10 with the Japanese currency set to finish 2019 roughly on par to where it started.

The People’s Bank of China set the reference rate of the yuan at 6.9805, stronger than the 6.9879 fix set on Friday as the yuan continues to strengthen from five months highs.

China’s official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) is due to be released on Tuesday followed on Thursday by the Caixin PMI, both of which will give some indication of the state of the Chinese economy.

Over the weekend, the PBOC ordered the adoption of a new approach to pricing loans. Lenders will be expected to move towards a new loan prime rate (LPR) starting January 1. The LPR is set at 4.15% for a one-year loan, lower than the current benchmark of 4.35%.

Meanwhile, markets continue to look forward to the signing of a phase one trade deal between the U.S. and China but are also looking for any spike in tensions in the Korean peninsula, particularly any missile tests in North Korea around the New Year.

The GBP/USD was up 0.30% to 1.3115, with the pound finding some support after the Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said the EU may need to extend the deadline for Brexit talks.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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Forex News

GBP/USD is near support

The pound is under pressure

The pound is under pressure

GBP/USD formed a lower high at the start of this month, pressured by the strong resistance in the 1.30 area. Not far above it, there are the declining 100- and 200-week MAs.

This zone looks even more like a hard obstacle if we remember about the ongoing political uncertainty in the UK and the recent hints from the Bank of England that it’s ready to cut rates in a no-deal Brexit scenario.

The Awesome Oscillator is declining on the D1. The decline below support at 1.28 will confirm a “double top” and lead the price down to 1.2730 (50-week MA) and 1.2700 (200-day MA). There will likely be demand for the pound at these levels limiting the further decline.

The short-term downtrend creates resistance around 1.2850 and 1.2880 (50- and 100-period MAs on the H4). An increase above the latter is needed to allow GBP/USD retest 1.2950 (resistance line connecting October and November highs). 

GBP chart

This post is written and submitted by FBS Markets for informational purposes only. In no way shall it be interpreted or construed to create any warranties of any kind, including an offer to buy or sell any currencies or other instruments.

The views and ideas shared in this article are deemed reliable and based on the most up-to-date and trustworthy sources. However, the company does not take any responsibility for accuracy and completeness of the information, and the views expressed in the article may be subject to change without prior notice. 

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Exclusive: Sudan needs up to $5 billion in budget support to prevent collapse

© Reuters. Sudan's Finance Minister Ibrahim Elbadawi speaks during an interview with Reuters in Khartoum © Reuters. Sudan’s Finance Minister Ibrahim Elbadawi speaks during an interview with Reuters in Khartoum

By Khaled Abdelaziz, Ulf Laessing and Michael Georgy

KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudan needs up to $ 5 billion in budget support to avert economic collapse and launch reforms after the ouster of veteran ruler Omar al-Bashir, its finance minister told Reuters.

The country, in crisis since losing most of its oil wealth with South Sudan’s secession in 2011, has only enough foreign currency reserves to fund imports for a few weeks, said Ibrahim Elbadawi, part of a transitional government formed in August.

Sudan has had some support for fuel and wheat imports but about 65 percent of its 44 million people live in poverty and it needs up to $ 2 billion in development funding along with a hoped-for $ 2 billion from Arab development funds, he said.

Outlining reform plans in detail for the first time, Elbadawi said public salaries would need to be increased and a social support network established to prepare for the painful removal of fuel and food subsidies.

Months of demonstrations over price hikes for fuel and bread and cash shortages triggered the uprising against Bashir, who was toppled in April by the military. Protests have continued since, with people killed in clashes with security forces.

“We have started the process (of reforms),” Elbadawi said in an interview on Thursday. “The people of Sudan deserve to be seen in a radically different prism than the international community used to see Sudan, as a country ruled by a pariah state.”

“Now we have a revolution,” he said. Asked how much budget support was needed for 2020 he said: “Some estimates say between three to four billion (US dollars), maybe even five billion.”

The civilian government Elbadawi is part of has taken over for three years under a power-sharing deal with the military. It has drawn slightly more than half of $ 3 billion in support for imports of wheat and fuel offered by Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates in April, he said.

A “friends of Sudan” donor meeting is planned for December and the government had agreed with the United States it could start engaging with international institutions while still on a list of countries deemed sponsors of terrorism, Elbadawi said.

The designation, which dates from allegations in 1993 that Bashir’s Islamist government supported terrorism, makes it technically ineligible for debt relief and financing from the IMF and World Bank. Congress needs to approve a removal.

CURRENCY

The first experts from international institutions had arrived in Khartoum to help with reforms and a delegation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would come this month for Chapter IV discussions, Elbadawi said. There was no immediate comment from the IMF, World Bank or U.S. State Department.

Part of a roadmap agreed with the IMF and World Bank was that Sudan did not have to pay back $ 3 billion in arrears from international institutions.

“We don’t need to pay anything. What we need to … deliver really is policy,” he said. Sudan is one of the most indebted countries, owing $ 60 billion, which needs to be settled separately.

Sudan would start to increase its tax base and overhaul the civil sector, Elbadawi said. Salaries — eroded by double digit inflation rates — could be raised as much as 100 percent by April.

In the second half of next year a social support network would be set up to allow the lifting of subsidies by June or later. Some donor funding would be used to collect data to allow cash transfers for the needy.

Sudan also wanted to produce bread based on sorghum, a local cereal, to import less wheat. He said he hoped a spread between official and black market would be ended by June. But this week the local pound dropped to 80 for a dollar on the black market versus the official rate at 45.

He said the 2020 budget would have sustainable development targets for education, health care and social spending, suggesting Sudan might move away from the dominant military spending choking development.

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Johnson Wins Commons Support For Dec. 12 Election: Brexit Update

(Bloomberg) — Sign up to our Brexit Bulletin, follow us @Brexit and subscribe to our podcast.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is on course to get the general election he wants on his preferred date of December 12 after winning crucial votes in the House of Commons.

With Brexit on hold until the end of January, and Johnson unable to get his divorce deal through Parliament, the U.K.’s political leaders now believe a snap poll is the only way to resolve the crisis paralyzing the country. The vote is set to become a proxy referendum on European Union membership.

Key Developments:

  • Johnson won a vote in the House of Commons for a bill to set the date of the next election as Dec. 12 by 438 to 20.
  • MPs voted 315 to 295 to reject a Labour bid for the election to be held on Dec. 9
  • Election Bill now passes to the House of Lords
  • Ten Tories who were kicked out of the party for opposing Johnson’s Brexit strategy have been re-admitted

MPs Approve Dec. 12 General Election (8:25 p.m.)

MPs agreed to hold a general election on Dec. 12, voting in favor of Boris Johnson’s bill by a margin of 438 to 20.

The prime minister earlier saw off an attempt by opposition parties to change the date to Dec. 9 (see 8 p.m.).

The bill now heads to the House of Lords, where it can still be amended. The unelected upper chamber typically yields to the view of the lower one – meaning that an early general election is now a near certainty.

MPs Reject Election Date of Dec. 9 (8 p.m.)

MPs rejected a bid by the opposition Labour Party to change the proposed election date to Dec. 9 from Dec. 12. The amendment to change the date was defeated by 315 votes to 295.

Opposition politicians had argued an earlier date would make it more likely that students would be able to vote, as many universities break up for the holiday in the week of Dec. 9.

But the government won the day with its argument that the earlier date would make it hard to pass vital legislation relating to Northern Ireland before Parliament dissolves (See 6 p.m.)

Johnson Flexible on Date, Official Says (6:40 p.m.)

The wrangling over the date of the election is continuing, but Boris Johnson is not tied to his preferred date of Dec. 12 at all costs.

MPs in the House of Commons are now discussing Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn’s proposal to move the election date to Dec. 9.

While it’s difficult to wrap up Parliamentary business in time for a Dec. 9 election, the premier would probably not abandon his plan if that date were forced on him by Parliament, a Tory official said.

This all points to an election being agreed to by Tuesday night.

Ten Expelled Tories Back in the Fold (6:30 p.m.)

Johnson met in private with 10 of the 21 MPs Conservative MPs who were thrown of the party for opposing his Brexit strategy and they have been re-admitted, a party spokesman said.

They include two former Cabinet ministers: Greg Clark and Caroline Nokes. Some of the other notable names are Alistair Burt, Nicholas Soames — the grandson of Winston Churchill, Stephen Hammond and Margot James. The door has been left open for others to be brought back as well, the spokesman said.

The development is good news for Johnson as it points to some of the former rebels planning to vote with the government and may help to heal rifts in the party.

What does the EU make of all this? (6:15 p.m.)

Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, said a prospective snap election in the U.K. won’t have a material effect on the concrete negotiations involving Brexit.

“The problems to be solved remain the same — and the solutions would also be the same,” Barnier told Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung in an interview.

“We spent two years negotiating a 600-page treaty with Theresa May. With Boris Johnson we negotiated for a comparatively short amount of time,” he said. May was “courageous and tenacious,” and Johnson is “also tenacious and a strong character,” he said.

Govt. Rejects Changing Election Day (6 p.m.)

Cabinet Office Minister Oliver Dowden said if MPs opt for a Dec. 9 election, as proposed in an amendment, there’s a “real danger” nurses, teachers and police officers in Northern Ireland won’t get paid after the end of the month as there won’t be time to approve a budget for the province.

A Dec. 12 election “gives Parliament enough time to progress essential business, and specifically the Northern Ireland budget Bill,” Dowden said.

Asked twice whether it would be possible for the House of Commons to sit on Friday in order to ensure the Northern Ireland legislation goes through, he replied that the bill needed to be “properly” considered.

Early Election Bill Proceeds to Next Stage (5:45 p.m.)

The House of Commons just gave approval in principle to the government’s bill calling for an early general election. There was no need for a vote, and the bill passed its so-called second reading on the nod. It now goes to the committee stage, when it can be amended.

Parliament Won’t Vote on Expanding Electorate (5:20 p.m.)

Deputy House of Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle rejected proposals to lower the voting age to 16 and to give EU nationals living in the U.K. a vote in the upcoming general election. The government said it would pull its election bill rather than accept either measure.

The only amendment Hoyle selected was Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s proposal to change the date of the election from Dec. 12 to Dec. 9. The Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party have indicated they would support such a move. The government said it wouldn’t rule out a vote on Dec. 9, but said it would be a rush.

Farewell and Good Luck from Tusk (4:30 p.m.)

EU Council President Donald Tusk warned that the Brexit extension to Jan. 31 ‘may be the last one,’ after announcing the bloc has formally adopted its decision to allow a delay.

“Please make the best use of this time,” Tusk said in a tweet. “I will keep my fingers crossed for you.”

Ex-Tories Add Backing to Votes at 16 (3:40 p.m.)

At least four former Conservative MPs have signed a proposed amendment that would expand the electoral roll to include 16 and 17 year olds.

Anna Soubry, who quit the party in February, and Guto Bebb, Justine Greening and Dominic Grieve, who were expelled in September for rebelling against Johnson’s Brexit plans, have all put their name to an amendment by Labour backbencher Stephen Doughty calling for the change.

But the issue may not come to a vote. The list of amendments chosen for debate will be announced sometime after 5:45 p.m.

Johnson to Pull Bill If Franchise Amendments Pass (3:20 p.m.)

Boris Johnson would abandon his attempt to hold a general election next month if amendments are passed to allow EU nationals and 16-year-olds to vote, his spokesman told reporters in Westminster.

Expanding the franchise would be a bad idea and would force a six-month delay until there can be a national vote, the spokesman said.

But he said the prime minister may press on if MPs vote to hold the election on Dec. 9 instead of Dec. 12. A vote on Dec. 9 would be a rush but the government isn’t ruling it out, he said.

It’s unclear which amendments the speaker will select, so these issues may not come to a vote.

Lib Dems and SNP Back Votes at 16 (3:10 p.m.)

The Liberal Democrats and Scottish National Party will join Labour in backing any amendment to allow 16-year-olds and EU nationals with settled status in the U.K. to vote in the general election, according to a Lib Dem official.

The Liberal Democrat stance is a change from Monday, when party officials briefed they were likely to abstain on any such amendment. That’s because, while they want 16-year olds to have the vote, they think there isn’t time to change the electoral register in time for a December election.

Ian Blackford, the SNP’s Westminster leader, reminded lawmakers that EU citizens are already on the electoral roll for local elections so it would be easy to give them votes in a general election.

Corbyn Backs Expansion of Electorate (2:50 p.m.)

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he will back amendments to allow 16-year-olds and EU nationals with settled status in the U.K. to vote in the general election.

If the measures pass, it could torpedo the legislation, and therefore the early national poll.

Boris Johnson’s spokesman, James Slack, earlier told reporters that the Electoral Commission recommends changes to the electoral register shouldn’t be made less than 6 months before a vote, and that the government has no plans to expand the franchise.

Johnson Makes Case For Early Vote (2:35 p.m.)

Boris Johnson made his case for an early election in the House of Commons, saying the current crop of members wouldn’t vote through his Withdrawal Agreement Bill and accusing opposition MPs of not wanting to deliver Brexit.

“There is only one way to get Brexit done in the face of this unrelenting parliamentary obstructionism,” he told the chamber. “That is, Mr speaker, to refresh this Parliament and to give people a choice.”

MPs Vote to Allow Amendments to Election Bill (2:20 p.m.)

MPs backed the amendment by Labour backbencher Stella Creasy (see 2:10 p.m.) enabling them to add changes to Boris Johnson’s bill to force through a general election.

The government had sought to by bypass normal Parliamentary rules and limit the opportunity for rank-and-file lawmakers to change the proposed law.

It now opens up the bill to possible amendments, including from those who want to change the date of the election, or to add 16 and 17-year-olds and EU nationals to the electorate.

MPs Voting to Allow Election Bill Amendments (2:10 p.m.)

MPs are voting on an amendment to the government’s schedule for proceeding with the general election bill in the House of Commons.

In essence, the amendment, proposed by Labour backbencher Stella Creasy, would allow MPs to amend the legislation calling for an early general election. The government is trying to bypass normal Parliamentary rules to speed its passage through parliament.

Creasy said her amendment aims merely to put the concept of “fair play” back in the Commons. “What the government was trying to do, in simple terms, was rig today’s debate,” she told lawmakers. “Letting this program motion go through without the full list of rules, is like letting Lance Armstrong keep all his medals.”

Election Bill Presented to Parliament (1:45 p.m.)

The bill calling for an early general election has been presented in Parliament – what’s called its first reading. That’s just a formality. MPs have 6 hours to get it through all of its stages in the House of Commons.

That includes a vote on second reading – expected by about 6 p.m. and then debate on possible amendments at what’s called the committee stage of the bill. If it stays to schedule, the final vote should be no later than 7:45 p.m.

OBR Forecasts Still Due on Nov. 7 (12:45 p.m.)

The government’s fiscal watchdog said it will still publish its economic forecasts on Nov. 7, even though Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid’s Budget the day before has been canceled.

The forecasts, which were due to be presented in response to the Budget, will include updated assessments of the impact of the Brexit deal Boris Johnson agreed with the EU on Oct. 17. Javid has ruled out publishing any government impact assessments of the deal.

In a letter to the Treasury, Robert Chote, Chairman of the Office for Budget Responsibility, said it is required by law to publish at least two forecasts per year and will go ahead with its plans.

Chote said in his letter that the new deal is unlikely to have made a “significant quantitative difference” compared to the last forecast in March, which was based on Theresa May’s deal and assumed a transition period to Dec. 2020.

Johnson Will Consider Other Election Dates (12:30 p.m.)

Boris Johnson is open to considering other dates for a general election, but doesn’t consider a poll on Dec. 9 as logistically possible, his spokesman James Slack told reporters in Westminster.

That means Dec. 10 or 11 could emerge as the date for a pre-Christmas election, rather than the Dec. 12 vote proposed by the prime minister.

Slack also said that Johnson wouldn’t countenance the lowering of the voting age to 16, or the inclusion of EU nationals in the vote, both of which have been proposed by opposition parties. Even if he supported the changes, there would be practical issues with either happening in time for an election next month, Slack said.

Mixed Reaction to Election From Labour MPs (11:50 a.m.)

Not all Labour MPs seem happy about Jeremy Corbyn’s decision to back a general election.

Darren Jones, who represents a constituency in Bristol, tweeted a painting of the Charge of the Light Brigade – one of Britain’s best-known military disasters. Another, Ben Bradshaw said an election shouldn’t be a tool to resolve Brexit. “A general election is about everything about governing the country,” he told the BBC.

But others threw their support behind the plan. Laura Pidcock tweeted “BRING IT ON,” while Clive Lewis tweeted an abbreviated version of the same message: “bring it.”

‘It’s Time,’ Corbyn Says (11:30 a.m.)

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted that his party will back a general election, confirming earlier statements from his office (see 10:50 a.m.). “It’s time,” he said.

Pound Erases Loss With Election Likely (11:10 a.m.)

The pound reversed an earlier decline as traders judged a vote in Parliament on an early election vote was likely to pass with the Labour Party’s backing (see 10:50 a.m.). The currency gained as much as 0.1% to $ 1.2873 before paring gains.

Market participants judge a snap poll could bring back a Conservative majority and end the Brexit deadlock, according to Nomura International Plc analyst Jordan Rochester.

Corbyn Backs December Election (10:50 a.m.)

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn indicated his party will back a general election in December, meaning Johnson will be able to go to the polls by the end of the year.

Corbyn told his team: “For the next three months, our condition of taking no deal off the table has now been met,” according to a statement. “We will now launch the most ambitious and radical campaign for real change our country has ever seen.”

The parties are haggling over the date of the election, with a day between Dec. 9 and Dec. 12 currently on the table. Amendments to Johnson’s bill are being written now.

Trust Is Key as SNP Deliberates Over Election (10:45 a.m.)

Scottish National Party MPs are scrutinizing the contents of the government’s election bill ahead of a debate later today, according to a spokesman.

The party wants an election, but its lawmakers don’t trust Boris Johnson to keep to his word, he said.

Government Offers Dec. 11 to Win Lib Dem Support (10 a.m.)

The negotiations have begun in Westminster ahead of the vote on Boris Johnson’s plan for a Dec. 12 general election. With the Liberal Democrats and Scottish National Party seeking a Dec. 9 poll, a U.K. official said the government has offered Dec. 11 as a compromise.

A spokesman for the Liberal Democrats said the party is looking at the offer.

The government needs some opposition votes to reach a simple majority for its election bill to pass, but it also wants to avoid amendments being attached to the legislation.

Students’ Vacation Key to Election Date Battle (9 a.m.)

The biggest sticking point in Boris Johnson’s bid for a Dec. 12 general election is the date itself. Two smaller opposition parties, the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party, whose support could be key to the government’s chances, want an earlier poll on Dec. 9 to ensure students are still at their universities to cast their ballots.

Liberal Democrat MP Chuka Umunna told BBC radio on Tuesday his party would not accept Dec. 12. But Conservative minister Brandon Lewis said Dec. 12 is the “right date” and accused the opposition parties of seeking to stop Brexit altogether. The government has said it needs time before Parliament breaks up for an election to secure key Northern Ireland legislation.

Johnson lacks a majority in Parliament, so will need at least some opposition votes to secure an early election. But the Liberal Democrats and SNP, both staunchly pro-EU and anti-Brexit, regard students as a key constituency.

Meanwhile, even though the main opposition Labour Party abstained in Monday’s vote on a snap poll, their position appeared to be softening on Tuesday. Labour’s trade spokesman, Barry Gardiner, hinted his party could back a Dec. 9 election, telling BBC radio: “The first thing is to make sure that students are not disenfranchised by the date of the election.”

Hammond: Election Will Usher in Tory Hardliners (8:30 a.m.)

Former Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, who is still suspended from the party after defying Boris Johnson over Brexit, warned an election would usher in “hardliner” pro-Leave MPs to the Tory benches.

“I fear that the real narrative here is that the Vote Leave activists, the cohort that has seized control in Downing Street — and to some extent in the headquarters of the Conservative Party — wants this general election to change the shape of the Conservative Party in Parliament,” Hammond told BBC radio.

Hammond also disputed the government’s narrative that he and other expelled Tories, and MPs in general, are the ones blocking Brexit. The House of Commons voted in favor of the initial passage of Johnson’s Brexit bill before the government pulled the legislation over its failure to win backing for an accelerated timetable, Hammond said.

Rees-Mogg: No Plan to Bring Brexit Bill Back (Earlier)

In his business statement to Parliament late Tuesday, Cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg said the government wants to get the early election bill through all stages of the House of Commons on Tuesday.

He also said the government had no plan to bring back the Withdrawal Agreement Bill — the legislation that puts the Brexit deal into U.K. law — before Parliament breaks up for the election. That’s a key demand of the Liberal Democrats and Scottish National Party, who opened up the legislative route to an early election when they expressed willingness to vote for a snap poll, subject to Brexit not being concluded beforehand.

According to Tuesday’s House of Commons order paper, debate on the election bill is due to begin at 12:30 p.m. — subject to ministerial statements and urgent questions — and can continue “until any hour.”

Earlier:

Boris Johnson Won’t Give Up on Trying to Force a U.K. ElectionBrexit Bulletin: Fourth Time Lucky?Two Foreign Exchange Traders, Three Votes and a Brexit Meltdown

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Andrea Leadsom pledges support for Boris Johnson in Tory leadership race

Leadsom says that she is backing Boris Johnson in the race

Leadsom

It has been rumoured for a while now since she fell out of the race herself last week but she has now officially declared her backing for Boris Johnson. She says that he has a credible plan for leaving the EU and that he wants to leave the EU with a ‘managed exit’.

So, that’s now three out of the four drop outs who have publicly announced their support for Boris Johnson; being Matt Hancock (20 votes*), Andrea Leadsom (11 votes*), and Esther McVey (9 votes*).

*votes from the first round of the Tory leadership ballot
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UBS on gold … prices managing to hold above the $1280 support area is encouraging

UBS on gold … prices managing to hold above the $ 1280 support area is encouraging

This snippet from UBS on gold seems particularly pertinent given where the gold price is as I post.

  • we think near-term pressure on gold is understandable
  • prices managing to hold above the $ 1280 support area is encouraging
  • this consolidation as an opportunity to gradually build a strategic position in gold
  • But for now, the extent of the dovish shift in Fed expectations has made gold vulnerable to improvement in the data during a time when physical markets tend to be quieter. 

More: 

  • physical demand out of China has been weak this year
  • interest out of India has been resilient
  • Central bank activity has been another source of support for gold – strong net buying from 2018 has extended into this year

Daily chart :

UBS on gold price chart

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UK lawmakers defeat govt motion to reaffirm support for PM May's plan by 303 ag to 258 for.

Defeat for the government

The UK lawmakers have defeated the government motion to reaffirm support for PM May’s plan to seek changes to her Brexit deal by a vote of 303 to 258. 

A loss by May is thought to be to the credibility of May in talks with the EU.  May has warned that it could undermine her.  

Corbyn says:

  • No support for the govt
  • The government cannot continue to run down the clock and hope that something saves the day. 
  • May should bring forward a coherent plan
  • Wants May to come to the dispatch and admit her strategy has failed. 

The GBPUSD has dipped modestly on the vote (rebounding back to the original levels.

Looking at the 5-minute chart below, the price has rebounded to the 38.2% of the day’s range and the 100 bar MA (blue line). That is a ho-hum correction.  If the GBPUSD is to squeeze higherr, gettting and staying above the 100 bar MA and the 38.2% will be eyed.   The midpoint of the day is at 1.28245. The 200 bar MA is at 1.2832.  

GBPUSD has just had a normal correction to the 100 bar MA and 38.2% retracement.

Remember that on the downside, the pair stallled at a trend line on the 4-hour chart at 1.2772 and that trend line remains a key level to get below now.

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Dollar finds support on U.S. jobs data; Aussie dollar weaker

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: United States one dollar bills seen on a light table at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: United States one dollar bills seen on a light table at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington

By Vatsal Srivastava

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The dollar held near a one-week high against the yen on Monday, supported by a stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs and factory data, although gains are likely to be capped on caution about Federal Reserve policy and amid thinned holiday trade in Asia.

Data released on Friday showed that the U.S. economy created 304,000 jobs in January, the highest in 11 months, which beat street estimates.

The greenback was marginally higher versus the yen at 109.44, after posting its largest percentage gain in almost a month.

"The non-farm payroll was a strong number and is supporting the dollar. A dovish Fed had hit the dollar/yen but rising stocks and solid U.S. data have led to this bounce back in the dollar versus the yen," said Nick Twidale, chief operating officer at Rakuten Securities.

The solid jobs report also allayed concerns of the slowdown in the U.S. economy, leading traders to trim expectations the Fed would need to cut interest rates to support the economy later this year.

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield was 2.69 percent, rebounding from a four-week low of 2.619 percent set earlier last week. Rising U.S. yields are most likely to support the dollar in the near term.

In broader moves, currency markets held tight ranges in early Asian trade with euro trading flat at $ 1.1455.

China’s financial markets are closed all week for the Lunar New Year holiday. Other Asian markets are also closed for parts of the week, keeping wider market activity subdued.

The dollar was lower by 0.2 percent at $ 0.7234 while dollar was marginally lower at $ 0.6895. The Aussie dollar was hit after the release of weaker-than-expected Building Approvals data.

"Markets are now waiting for the next catalyst, which will most likely be news coming out of the ongoing U.S.-China trade negotiations," added Twidale.

The , a gauge of its value versus six major peers was steady at 95.60.

Despite the strong labor market, the U.S. central bank is widely expected to keep rates steady this year thanks to heightened worries over global growth, especially in China. Growth in the euro area has also been weaker-than-expected with Europe’s main economic engines, France and Germany, slowing down.

Rising U.S. interest rates were the main driver of the greenback’s outperformance last year. However, most analysts do not see much upside in the dollar this year as U.S. borrowing costs are widely expected to remain steady.

Elsewhere, sterling was marginally lower at $ 1.3078 in early Asian trade. Traders expect the British pound to remain volatile as Brexit uncertainty remains high. The Bank of England is scheduled to meet later this week and widely expected to keep interest rates steady.

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