Sterling surges as EU reports more progress on deal

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson attends a virtual press conference at 10 Downing Street in central London on November 26, 2020.
Jamie Lorriman | AFP | Getty Images
The pound broke the long-awaited barrier of $ 1.35 on Wednesday morning after European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said progress had been made towards a post-Brexit trade deal between the UK and the European Union.
Speaking to the European Parliament, Ms von der Leyen said that while she could not say whether or not there would be a deal, “there is a way to a deal now” and the next few days will be critical.

“We have found a way forward on most issues, but two issues remain unanswered: equal opportunities and the catch,” said von der Leyen.

“I am happy to report that the governance issues are now largely resolved. The next few days will be decisive. ”

However, a British official reportedly told Reuters the two sides remain “very distant in key areas” and that despite some progress, the deal is “still not here”. CNBC was unable to independently verify the report.

The pound sterling climbed 0.4% against the dollar following the remarks, breaking the $ 1.35 barrier for the first time since May 2018. The euro also gained 0.45% against the greenback to exceed $ 1.22 for the first time since April 2018.

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