January 16th 2009
British Pound Oversold?
Last week, the British Pound recorded its strongest performance against both the Dollar and Euro in nearly 20 years, on the basis of both technical and fundamental factors. On the surface, the Bank of England interest rate cut that prompted the rally would seem to be be negative for the Pound, since lower yield makes Britain a less attractive place to invest. On a deeper level, the relative modesty of the rate cut signalled to investors that the Bank of England is conscious of currency markets (the record decline in the Pound in 2008) when carrying out monetary policy. In addition, the BOE's proactive response to the credit crisis dwarfs the actions of the European Central Banks, which risks falling further behind the curve. In other words, investors began to question why they were pushing the Euro close to parity, when the economic fundamentals aren't much better in the EU than in the UK. Bloomberg News reports:
"The euro fundamentals are looking increasingly shaky," [said] a currency strategist. "It's clearer than ever the ECB has seriously misjudged the dire situation the region now finds itself in."