The pound is well below $1.24 after Trump's speech to Congress

 
Emma Haslett
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Trump pledged more spending – but gave few details. (Source: Getty)

The pound fell below $1.24 for the first time since January this morning after Donald Trump gave an unusually statesman-like speech to Congress last night.

The pound fell as low as $1.2356 overnight after Trump's address, in which he repeated pledges to introduce a border tax on imports, but gave few details on how he will actually do it.

On this side of the pond, market reaction was muted, with the FTSE 100 edging up 0.7 per cent to 7,315 points by the mid-morning. The risers were mixed, but building materials giant CRH lead the risers, jumping 3.6 per cent after Trump's $1 trillion pledge on infrastructure spending.

"President Trump’s speech before Congress has done nothing to dampen investors’ risk appetite," said David Morrison, senior market strategist at SpreadCo.

"There was precious little detail over such key issues as tax reform, infrastructure spending, regulatory roll-back and Obamacare. But there was plenty to convince everyone that he was serious about driving forward with these issues. Additionally his tone was far more Presidential than we’ve heard of late and the most unifying message that we’ve heard since his victory acceptance speech back in November."

However, Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex, adopted a rather more cynical view.

"The bar is currently so low with Trump that something resembling a ‘Presidential’ performance can bring relief to investors.

"Things like the $1 trillion infrastructure spend and tax reforms were touched upon, but outside repeating the claims that had gone before there wasn’t any of the nitty gritty that is a) sorely needed and b) seems beyond the reach of Trump’s abilities. Nevertheless, the market appears to just about be pleased with what went on in front of Congress last night."

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