The pound took off after the EU's chief Brexit negotiator said a deal could be just weeks away
- Pound jumps after the EU's chief Brexit negotiator said a deal could be struck in six to eight weeks.
- The pound dollar exchange rate gained more than 1% after the comments.
- It climbed back above the psychologically significant $1.30 mark.
- You can follow the pound-dollar exchange rate live on Markets Insider.
LONDON - The pound surged higher on Monday afternoon after conciliatory comments from the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier.
Speaking at a conference in Slovenia on Monday afternoon, Barnier said that a Brexit deal could be between six and eight weeks, calling such an outcome both "realistic" and "possible."
Barnier's words were welcomed by investors in the pound, which jumped to a gain of just over 1% against the dollar to hit a peak of $1.3052. A few minutes after the initial increase, the pound has pared some of its gains and is trading 0.87% higher at $1.3032 as of 2.25 p.m. BST (9.25 a.m. ET).
In recent weeks, the pound has been extremely sensitive to positive developments surrounding Brexit. Last Wednesday, the pound jumped sharply against the dollar after a report suggested Germany had agreed to a significant compromise with the UK during Brexit talks.
On that occasion, the pound climbed close to 1% when Bloomberg reported that German officials were prepared to "accept a less detailed agreement on the UK's future economic and trade ties with the EU in a bid to get a Brexit deal done." It soon dropped after an official statement from the German government saying its position had not changed.
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