The Pound Is Being Held Hostage by Politics Again

Oct 24 • Morning Roll Call • 1236 Views • Comments Off on The Pound Is Being Held Hostage by Politics Again

(Bloomberg) — As if the drawn-out Brexit uncertainty wasn’t enough, the pound is now at risk from the battle over the U.K.’s leadership.

Investors are watching for signs whether a much-anticipated challenge to U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May will actually materialize, and the outcome of a meeting of Conservative Party backbenchers Wednesday could be crucial. Long-time sterling bull Nomura International Plc switched to a neutral stance Monday, recommending a flat position amid reports of mounting opposition to May from within her own party.

While sterling gained Tuesday on optimism the European Union is preparing to offer a solution for the Irish border issue, political risk could yet set the currency back, according to Credit Agricole SA and Nomura. The prospect of a leadership threat has reappeared on traders’ radar since the weekend press reported that the number of lawmakers rallying against May was approaching the number required to officially mount a challenge.

“Any indication that political risks are on the rise in Westminster could fuel fears about a ‘no-deal’ Brexit and sink the pound,” said Valentin Marinov, head of Group-of-10 currency strategy at Credit Agricole. “While we still hope for a last-minute Brexit deal, we maintain a rather cautious stance on the pound for now.”


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