Brexit Briefing: British Pound Rallies as Bankers' Brexit Fears Recede
- The British Pound is climbing at the start of the new week as bankers rethink their Brexit plans.
- This Thursday’s Bank of England meeting remains the primary focus of Sterling traders but the Brexit clock continues to tick in the background.
The Pound is rallying Monday ahead of this week’s crucial Bank of England policy meeting Thursday at which it is widely expected to increase UK interest rates. Meanwhile, the UK currency is benefiting from a rethink by some bankers about their post-Brexit plans, potentially lessening fears that the City of London will decline as a major global financial center once the UK leaves the European Union.
Swiss bank UBS said last week that its previous plan to relocate 1,000 bankers out of London in response to Brexit is “more and more unlikely” and the Financial Times reported that it could move as few as 250 people. On Monday, it was joined by HSBC, with the bank’s finance director saying that post-Brexit it may move fewer than 1,000 jobs to Paris – a number it had previously pointed to.
Others also seem to be softening their previous positions. The chief executive of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein, said on Twitter on Monday that GS is still investing in its big new European headquarters in London and is “expecting/hoping to fill it up” although he added that Brexit leaves “so much outside our control”. Last week, Michael Bloomberg told The Times that “Brexit isn’t smart but London will remain Europe’s financial capital”.
Near term, this is all less important for the Pound than the UK interest rate outlook. However, it does mean that Brexit could be less damaging for the currency than some analysts once suggested.
Chart: GBP/USD Five-Minute Timeframe (October 27 – 30, 2017)
On the political front, UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman said Monday that she will discuss preparations for Brexit with her top cabinet ministers Tuesday.
Upcoming UK/EU Event Risk (October 31, 2017, All Times GMT)
--- Written by Martin Essex, Analyst and Editor
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