Two main fundamental factors depressed the GBPUSD for the past couple of years—Brexit, and now recently, the Coronavirus.
The trade is relatively simple – once there is a vaccine for the Coronavirus, alongside certainty on Brexit talks, a good case can be made for the pair to reach its Pre Brexit/Pre Coronavirus levels around 1.45
Let's go over the technical first. A Fibonacci drawn from 1.34 to 1.15, from the 2019 high to the 2020 low, can see the level of 1.45, hitting perfectly with the 161.8% retracement level, which was the level before the Brexit referendum results were announced in 2016. Alongside predicted further weakness in the US dollar, as vaccine hopes rise, the pound may rally on relatively less stimulus to its US counterpart.
We can also see some consolidation zones and congestion around 1.32 and 1.38, where bulls and bears fight it for a higher or lower move. However, movements to the upsides past these zones paired with positive fundamental news may see price levels freely hit strong Fib levels. A robust full recovery, with pre-Coronavirus level economic activity alongside a positive post Brexit environment, and we can see levels hit 1.50 – 1.55.
It has almost been five years since the Brexit referendum took place—a quick refresher on why Brexit occurred. There were talks amongst the public that they were getting the short end of the stick regarding the European Union and that the majority of the citizens in the UK wanted to leave. The Prime Minister at the time, David Cameron, disagreed with the notion that the UK public wanted to leave. Therefore, he initiated a referendum to show that the UK did not want to leave the European Union. It turns out he was wrong, and they did want to leave. David Cameron retired soon after.
Five years later, and we're edging closer to a deal. Brussels and the UK have started in-depth negotiations again after the Coronavirus ravaged the world. A "deadline" has been set for 31st December, where Britain will "leave" the EU regardless of whether a deal has been met. However, "deadline" is in quotations as both have agreed to extend deadlines that have passed many times before.
An EU official has stated that "its getting terribly late and may be too late already" and that "they [the EU and the UK] haven't quite reached where they had hoped to be." If a "no deal" Brexit occurs on 31st December, shock waves will be sent not only in the financial markets but also supply chains all across Europe and the UK. There is currently free trade and free transport out of the UK and into Europe and vice versa. However, a no-deal Brexit would mean that on the 31st December, the EU will treat the UK like any other country.
A no-deal Brexit should see the pound drop to a similar magnitude of that in 2016. However, if the optimistic scenario occurs and a vaccine comes alongside positive Brexit negotiations, we should see the pound rally against the US Dollar.