Banks

RBS share drop accelerates on stress test flop

Stressed. Shares in Royal Bank of Scotland have accelerated their losses this morning, falling over 4.5 per cent after the state-backed lender came in bottom of the heap in the Bank of England’s latest stress tests. RBS failed the toughest ever stress tests carried out by the BoE, with results this morning showing the lender’s […]

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Capital Markets, Financial

BGC Partners eyes new platform to trade US Treasuries

BGC Partners plans to launch a new platform to trade US Treasuries early next year, in a bid to return to a market in the middle of evolution, according to people familiar with the plans.  The company, spun out of Howard Lutnick’s Cantor Fitzgerald in 2004, sold eSpeed, the second-largest interdealer platform for trading Treasuries, […]

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Financial

Sales in Rocket Internet’s portfolio companies rise 30%

Revenues at Rocket Internet rose strongly at its portfolio companies in the first nine months of the year as the German tech group said it was making strides on the “path towards profitability”. Sales at its main companies increased 30.6 per cent to €1.58bn while losses narrowed. Rocket said the adjusted margin for earnings before […]

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Currencies

Renminbi strengthens further despite gains by dollar

The renminbi on track for a fourth day of firming against the dollar on Wednesday after China’s central bank once again pushed the currency’s trading band (marginally) stronger. The onshore exchange rate (CNY) for the reniminbi was 0.28 per cent stronger at Rmb6.8855 in afternoon trade, bringing it 0.53 per cent firmer since it last […]

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Currencies

Nomura rounds up markets’ biggest misses in 2016

Forecasting markets a year in advance is never easy, but with “year-ahead investment themes” season well underway, Nomura has provided a handy reminder of quite how difficult it is, with an overview of markets’ biggest hits and misses (OK, mostly misses) from the start of 2016. The biggest miss among analysts, according to Nomura’s Sam […]

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Categorized | Currencies

Pound hits fresh 31-year low


Posted on October 4, 2016

Sterling tumbled to another post-Brexit vote low against the dollar in early trading on Tuesday, as the UK government’s setting of a timetable for negotiations to leave the EU ruptured the recent stability for a currency now caught in political crosshairs.

The currency fell as much as 0.7 per cent to $1.2757, taking its decline this week to more than 1.3 per cent.

    The declines accelerated after it breached $1.2796, which had been the weakest level since the EU vote in late June, and left the currency at a fresh 31-year low.

    Renewed weakness for the pound follows Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech to the Conservative party conference on Sunday, which investors seized on as pointing to a so-called hard Brexit that prioritises Britain’s control of immigration policy over full access to Europe’s single markets.

    “The pound’s drop is likely to be a series of spaced out depreciations, with the trigger for weakness being each piece of new information on the economic sacrifice that the UK government is willing to take on the path to Brexit,” said Koon Chow, macro and FX strategist at UBP.

    Foreign-exchange strategists at Commerzbank said reduced UK access to the European single market as a consequence of limits on immigration “is likely to lead to considerable economic effects and be of notable relevance for the attractiveness of sterling investments”. They added “until an amicable agreement can be reached in this matter, sterling will therefore remain under pressure”.

    The weakness in the currency has been a boon to the FTSE 100 because a lower pound strengthens the amount of revenue its constituents book from their foreign currency earnings. The main London stock index rose a further 1 per cent to 7,031.96 on Tuesday, taking it back over the 7,000-points level for the first time since June 2015.

    Pearson, the textbook publisher and former owner of the Financial Times that is a big dollar earner, was the top performer, up 5 per cent. Building products group Wolseley rose 2.5 per cent as did the stock of Rolls-Royce.

    The FTSE 250, London’s mid-cap index that is seen as more representative of the domestic UK economy, was up 0.7 per cent at 18,316.71.

    “Despite the continued risks to the UK economic outlook, UK equities could still deliver attractive returns,” said Mike Bell, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management. “That’s because over 70 per cent of UK-listed company revenues come from outside the UK. With interest rates still extremely low, UK equities offer an attractive source of income with a dividend yield that is favourable relative to most other markets.”

    The UK’s benchmark 10-year gilt yield rose one basis point to 0.74 per cent. And Mr Chow cautioned that it would not be one-way travel for sterling. “The current resilience of the UK economy and the economic and political risks elsewhere, including the US elections and lingering unease over Deutsche Bank, are likely though to offer some relative succour for the pound.”