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Pound Advances Amid U.K. Minister's Comments On Brexit

The pound climbed against its major counterparts in the European session on Monday, after a U.K. minister remarked that a no-deal Brexit would have 'serious damage to the economy' and the recent discussions with Brussels have been productive.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, David Lidington, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, told that a no-deal Brexit was 'something that no member of the Cabinet wants to see'.

The recent discussions held with the EU were a lot more than courtesy calls, Lidington told.

"It was a very useful discussion about the politics both within the United Kingdom and within the EU27 and a scoping-out of what was possible."

Prime Minister Theresa May is to hold Brexit talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker this week, following a symbolic defeat in Parliament last week.

Investors also looked ahead to the next round of U.S.-China trade talks and pondered over the political fall-out from U.S. President Trump's decision to declare national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.

In economic releases, U.K. housing affordability improved at the fastest pace in eight years in February, but annual house price growth remained weak, survey data from the property market data website Rightmove showed.

U.K.'s annual average wage growth of 3.4 percent outstripped asking prices at the fastest rate since 2011, the survey found.

The pound has been trading higher against its major rivals in the Asian session, excepting the euro.

The pound advanced to 1.2979 against the franc, a 4-day high, and was up from a low of 1.2947 hit at 3:15 am ET. Next key resistance for the pound is seen around the 1.32 region.

After falling to 1.2892 against the greenback at 3:15 am ET, the pound reversed direction and climbed to 1.2939. The pound is seen finding resistance around the 1.32 level.

The pound appreciated to a 4-day high of 143.02 against the yen, from a low of 142.50 hit at 5:30 pm ET. If the pound rises further, 144.00 is likely seen as its next resistance level.

Data from the Cabinet Office showed that Japan core machine orders fell 0.1 percent on month in December - beating expectations for a decline of 1.0 percent following the flat reading in November.

On a yearly basis, core machine orders were up 0.9 percent - shy of forecasts for an increase of 3.4 percent following the 0.8 percent increase in the previous month.

On the flip side, the pound held steady against the euro, after having eased from a 5-day high of 0.8743 touched at 5:00 pm ET. The pair was valued at 0.8758 at last week's close.

The U.S. markets remain closed for Presidents Day holiday.

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