Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Sterling slide no longer a boost for Britain's FTSE 100

Will Britain actually extricate itself from the EU Will Britain actually extricate itself from the EU
Rhonda Young | 12 August, 2018, 10:03

The pound fell today, slumping below US$1.29 for the first time in nearly a year, in a selloff fuelled by investor concern that Britain will crash out of the European Union without a trade deal.

Traders said there was no obvious catalyst other than growing anxiety over the lack of progress on Brexit before a series of meetings between the European Union and Britain starting next month.

The pound fell on Monday after minister for worldwide trade Liam Fox said there was a 60 per cent chance the United Kingdom would leave the EU without a deal, putting the blame on "intransigence" from the European Commission.

If the direction of travel persists, the FTSE 100 and the pound could soon be positively correlated for the first time since December 2016 - bad news for United Kingdom stocks, as sterling slumps to a near one-year low. Three-month sterling volatility rose to its highest since March.

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The pound also fell below US$1.29 for the first time since August 31 2017.

His comments echoed those Bank of England Governor Mark Carney last week.

The BoE raised interest rates from crisis-era lows last week but the pound didn't benefit.

The Pound Euro (GBP/EUR) exchange rate remains close to its worst levels in a year, reflecting the fact that a no-deal Brexit is seemingly a distinct possibility.

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For these leagues the transfer window does not end until the end of the month and spending can be expected to continue. The move however irked Guardiola who labelled Napoli president, Aurelio De Laurentiis' decision as unprofessional.

While most of the blame for the pound's tumble has been put squarely on fears of the United Kingdom crashing out of the European Union without a deal, analysts have been keen to point out that August has always been a hard month for the currency.

"Right now we're short of any meaningful news flow and uncertainty is high - that's not a good thing", said Jordan Rochester, an analyst at Nomura International Plc.

The pound has fallen more than 10 per cent since mid-April versus the dollar.

Barclays said Friday's GDP data showed that the British economy's second-quarter rebound only offset the first-quarter weakness.

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Sterling also hit a nine-month low against the euro, and was down against the yen and Swiss franc, BBC reported on Thursday.

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