Despite ongoing risks from Brexit and political instability, a senior currency analyst at a New York finance institution says for now sterling retains its underlying strength.
The renewed leadership turmoil surrounding British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday, November 13 sent the pound falling 1 percent to US$1.3064 by 9:19am.
The fall follows the leaking of a letter from Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Environment Secretary Michael Gove urging Mrs. May to take a more hard line in Brexit negotiations, while as many as 40 Conservative MPs are reportedly prepared to support a vote of no confidence in the PM.
It continues a trend since the result of the UK’s EU membership referendum in June 2016 during which the pound has lost 12 percent of its value since the day before the vote.
Neil Mellor is senior currency strategist BNY Mellon, a New York-based investment company and takes a more long-term view of the pound’s movements over the past year, seeing positive as well as negative developments.
“It has been on an improving trend it might surprise you to hear, sterling has spent much of the year reviving from the lows it fell to around mid-January. It has been a meandering path, but since then you can draw an uptrend on the charts, but it has been higher,” Mr. Mellor told Sputnik.
“However, there are substantial risks going forward, with Brexit and political developments aside from Brexit,” he added.
The Global Hierarchy: Sterling Still at No.3
According to Mr. Mellor, the pound sterling has so far managed to maintain its position since the referendum result relative to other major currencies.
“If I were to talk about the least blemished currency right now, I would talk about the US dollar taking the top spot again, things generally seem to be going in its favor. The Yen has to come at the bottom of the pile because there is no prospect of any change in its monetary policy which will remain expansionary for a very long time to come,” Mr. Mellor told Sputnik.
Between the US dollar and the Yen, Mr. Mellor placed the euro in second place and the pound sterling behind it in third.
“It is a difficult call, there is always inherent volatility. I would have to put the euro ahead of the pound. I would put it between the dollar and the euro. The ECB faces a whole different range of risks to the pound,” he said.
Remaining a Hub
London has spent centuries as a leading global financial hub from being the heart of the British Empire, then the Sterling Area in the early 20th century, and then along with New York, a center for the recycling of petrodollar surpluses from oil-producing states from the mid-1970s.
The City of London has been campaigning hard for Saudi Arabia’s state oil-producer Aramco, the most valuable company in the world, to be publicly listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
On November 8, it announced a US$2 billion (£1.5 billion) loan guarantee to attract the Saudi leadership to London.
On Monday evening November 13, the City of London’s new Lord Mayor Charles Bowman is due to meet the prime minister to encourage progress in trade talks with the European Union and to highlight the concerns of UK businesses at the perceived lack of progress so far.