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UK Pound Sees Slight Gains

By , September 11, 2014 6:15 am

Banknotes of 5, 10 and 20 poundsUK pound is seeing slight gains today, perhaps in correction for recent difficulties, which are the result of concerns over what’s next for Scotland. Even though the sterling is higher, the gains are precarious, as the Scottish independence vote injects uncertainty into the situation.

There are serious concerns about the UK pound and how it might function if Scotland does vote to break free. Recently, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney warned Scottish stakeholders about some of the difficulties presented in terms of currency.

The Scottish National Party, which advocates independence, insists that Scotland would continue to use the UK pound as its currency, but policymakers in England insist that they won’t allow. Worries that Scotland could degrade the sterling with excessive borrowing and other practices give politicians pause.

Also weighing on the pound, and limiting its gains today, is the fact that the union including Scotland has been in effect for more than 300 years. There are concerns about the economic impact on the rest of the United Kingdom, should Scotland leave. Additionally, there are worries that other countries might leave the union as well.

At 10:41 GMT EUR/GBP is down to 0.7955 from the open at 0.7968. GBP/USD is up to 1.6235 from the open at 1.6211. GBP/JPY is up to 173.9320 from the open at 173.2295.

If you have any questions, comments or opinions regarding the Great Britain Pound, feel free to post them using the commentary form below.

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Pound Bounces, Remains Under Pressure

By , September 10, 2014 12:19 am

The Great Britain pound ticked up today but remained under pressure from the upcoming referendum about Scotland’s independence and the monetary policy outlook that is not particularly supportive for the currency.

The Scots are going to vote in a referendum on September 18 if they want to remain a part of the United Kingdom or not. As of now, the ‘yes’ vote exceeds the ‘no’ vote by a small fraction. Investors are nervous about the prospect for Scotland’s secession as it is unclear what impact such event would have on Britain’s economy.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney spoke yesterday, confirming that UK policy makers are planning to raise interest rates. Yet the expected timing of such move is not as early as many market participants have expected. Carney said that “if interest rates were to follow the path expected by markets” than borrowing costs are likely “to increase by the spring”.

GBP/USD went up from 1.6104 to 1.6139 before trading at 1.6112 as of 4:41 GMT today. GBP/JPY edged up from 171.01 to 171.53, while EUR/GBP dropped from 0.8033 to 0.8022.

If you have any questions, comments or opinions regarding the Great Britain Pound, feel free to post them using the commentary form below.

Earlier News About the Great Britain Pound:

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Scottish Independence Weighs on Pound

By , September 8, 2014 4:47 am

Focus on 5-pound noteUK pound is lower today, thanks in large part to the latest poll on Scottish independence. The latest numbers indicate that those favoring a split from the United Kingdom have pulled ahead of those opposed to the split. The idea that the United Kingdom is falling apart is one that is weighing on the pound today.

The latest poll regarding Scottish independence is in, and for the first time those in favor of a split have more support than those opposed. Right now, 45 percent are opposed to Scotland leaving the United Kingdom, while 47 percent are in favor. The remainder are still undecided, or have said they won’t vote in the upcoming referendum.

Even though those in favor of independence say they would keep the pound as the basis for the money, there are still plenty of questions about what a split would do to the UK pound. Besides, England still says it wouldn’t share the pound with an independent Scotland. On top of that, even independence doesn’t go through, it looks like there will be a slim enough margin that a vote could routinely come up, creating crises for the pound every few years.

Right now, the pound is mostly lower. EUR/GBP is up to 0.8032 from the open at 0.8013. GBP/USD is down to 1.6117 from the open at 1.6166. GBP/JPY is down to 169.5500 from the open at 169.7750.

If you have any questions, comments or opinions regarding the Great Britain Pound, feel free to post them using the commentary form below.

Forex News

Pound Sinks, Finds No Help from Construction PMI

By , September 2, 2014 12:44 pm

Stack of coins on 10-pound and 20-pound billsThe Great Britain pound sank to the lowest level since March against the US dollar today. The currency was also weak against other majors, even the Japanese yen, against which the sterling has rallied earlier.

The UK currency slumped even as the Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index came out much better than was expected, climbing from 62.4 in July to 64.0 in August compared to the forecast drop to 61.5. Polls report increasing support for independence of Scotland ahead of this week’s referendum. This may explain why the sterling ignored the positive economic data.

GBP/USD sank from 1.6606 to 1.6486 as of 17:55 GMT today. GBP/JPY rallied from 173.27 to 173.95 intraday but retreated to the opening rate as of now.

If you have any questions, comments or opinions regarding the Great Britain Pound, feel free to post them using the commentary form below.

Earlier News About the Great Britain Pound:

Forex News

UK Pound Continues to Struggle

By , August 26, 2014 9:20 am

Stack of coins on 10-pound and 20-pound billsUK pound continues to struggle in Forex trading today, thanks in large part to the fact that the economic data isn’t holding up, and Bank of England policymakers don’t seem to be on the same page.

Sterling is struggling today, down against its major counterparts, thanks in large part to the latest economic news out of the United Kingdom. The latest figures for July inflation show a slowing for the United Kingdom, which means the economy isn’t coming along quite as well as many would like.

On top of that, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of agreement amongst Bank of England policymakers. Some of their recent statements have been contradictory, and that leads to a bit of uncertainty about what will be next for the pound.

Also, it’s possible that discussions about Scottish independence are having their effect. Scotland looks to declare independence from the United Kingdom, but wants to keep the pound as currency. That arrangement might be acceptable, and is possibly in the works.

With a lot of uncertainty around the UK pound, though, it’s little surprise that it’s struggling.

At 12:06 GMT GBP/USD is down to 1.6571 from the open at 1.6580. EUR/GBP is up to 0.7962 from the open at 0.7957. GBP/JPY is down to 172.2370 from the open at 172.5070.

If you have any questions, comments or opinions regarding the Great Britain Pound, feel free to post them using the commentary form below.

Forex News

Carney’s Comments Help Pound Gain Ground

By , August 18, 2014 1:32 pm

Stacks of coins and a fan of pound notesThe Great Britain pound rose today after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said over the weekend that the central bank may start raising interest rates before actual wage growth kicks in.

Wages came to market participants’ attention after the BoE inflation report predicted that this year’s earnings growth will be half of the previous estimates. Yet Carney was less dovish in his interview to Sunday Times over the weekend than could be expected considering the latest economic developments. He said that policy makers are confident that real wages will be growing and they “don’t have to wait for the fact”.

Such words triggered speculations among Forex traders regarding future moves of the central bank and their possible impact on the pound. It looks like the general consensus is that BoE is more hawkish than it has been considered previously, and this is definitely good for the currency.

GBP/USD rose 0.23 percent to 1.6731 as of 18:39 GMT today. EUR/GBP dropped from 0.8003 to 0.7986. GBP/JPY advanced from 171.20 to 171.56.

If you have any questions, comments or opinions regarding the Great Britain Pound, feel free to post them using the commentary form below.

Earlier News About the Great Britain Pound:

Forex News

U.S. Warplanes, Kurdish Forces Pound ISIS Targets in Bid to Retake Iraqi Dam

By , August 17, 2014 5:55 am

U.S. Warplanes, Kurdish Forces Pound ISIS Targets in Bid to Retake Iraqi Dam

Baghdad (CNN) — Kurdish forces fired mortars and explosives at extremist militants Sunday as the battle to retake a strategic dam in northern Iraq raged on.

Fighters for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria set up high powered explosives around buildings and detonated them, Kurdish Intelligence chief Masrour Barzani said.

Kurdish forces fought back, sparking clashes. Smoke could be seen rising in the distance.

ISIS, the extremist militant group that calls itself the Islamic State, seized the strategic Mosul Dam this month.

U.S. warplanes joined the effort to retake the dam amid growing concern it is not maintained and could rupture, a U.S. official told CNN.

Engineering studies show that a failure of the dam would be catastrophic, resulting in flooding all the way to Baghdad, the official said on condition of anonymity.

Mosul Dam is Iraq’s largest hydroelectric dam, and it sits on the Tigris Rivers about 50 kilometers (31 miles) north of the city of Mosul. ISIS fighters seized it this month following fierce fighting.

The United States estimates there may be up to 400 ISIS fighters in and around the dam complex, the official said.

The U.S. military confirmed a mix of fighter jets and drones carried out nine airstrikes near Mosul and the Kurdish regional capital of Irbil. The strikes targeted armored vehicles used by ISIS fighters, it said.

U.S. Central Command declined to provide further details, citing security of its personnel.

There were conflicting reports from Kurdish officials about whether its military force, known as the Peshmerga, had begun a ground operation to retake the dam.

Mosul Dam remains in hands of ISIS

A Peshmerga colonel told CNN the operation began early Saturday with Kurdish forces advancing toward the dam as the United States carried out airstrikes against “mobile ISIS positions.”

The dam complex has not been hit, the colonel said on condition of anonymity. He is not authorized to speak to the media.

While Peshmerga spokesman Hilgurd Hikmat also confirmed the U.S. airstrikes, he said the Kurdish forces are not on the move and have not engaged in battle with ISIS fighters near the dam.

Mosul Dam is under ISIS control, but it is still up and running, the colonel said. Engineers and employees remain at work, he said.

U.S. intelligence agencies, according to the U.S. official, are also keeping an eye on the Haditha Dam on the Euphrates River in Iraq’s western Anbar province, where Iraqi troops have been holding off an ISIS assault for weeks. The dam is the second-largest in the country, and it provides water to western and southern Iraq.

Earlier this year, ISIS fighters opened the gates on the Falluja dam after seizing it in an effort to stop an Iraqi military advance. The water from the dam flooded a number of small villages.

U.S. President Barack Obama ordered targeted airstrikes to protect U.S. personnel and facilities in Iraq and prevent a potential genocide of ethnic and religious minority groups by ISIS.

Obama — citing the success of targeted American airstrikes — declared an end to an ISIS siege that had trapped tens of thousands of Yazidis in mountains.

The Yazidis are one of Iraq’s smallest and oldest religious minorities.

The United Nations estimates they are among 400,000 people who’ve been driven from their homes since June, when ISIS swept across the border from Syria into Iraq.

Jomana Karadsheh reported from Baghdad, Barbara Starr from Washington and Faith Karimi reported and wrote from Atlanta. CNN’s Anna Coren, Mohammed Tawfeeq and Mariano Castillo contributed to this report.

Assyrian International News Agency

UK Pound Remains Mixed Against Major Counterparts

By , August 12, 2014 7:53 am

UK pound is mixed today, thanks to a lot of thought being given to the latest data points, as well as to interest in possible outcomes for the future of the UK economy.

Once again, the UK pound is in an interesting place. The latest PMI data surprised to the upside. However, inflation data, due out later this week, is expected to still be a bit low. As a result, there are expectations that the inflation data will not be sufficient to encourage the Bank of England to tighten its monetary policy any time soon.

There will be more data this week; indeed, this is a data-heavy week around the world, so there is a lot of wait-and-see associated with the currency market. Also, there is a bit of risk aversion weighing on the pound against some currencies, while the sterling gains against others.

It’s shaping up to be a fairly interesting week, and many Forex traders are interested to see what happens next.

At 13:51 GMT GBP/USD is lower, down to 1.6786 from the open at 1.6787. EUR/GBP is lower, dropping to 1.3353 from the open at 1.3385. GBP/JPY is a little bit lower, falling to 171.5400 from the open at 171.5600. GBP/CAD is higher, moving up to 1.8359 from the open at 1.8333.

If you have any questions, comments or opinions regarding the Great Britain Pound, feel free to post them using the commentary form below.

Forex News

UK Pound Fights Back in Currency Trading

By , August 5, 2014 7:12 am

Great Britain pound symbolThe last week has been a bit humiliating for the UK pound, with persistent losses against major currencies. However, there appears to be some relief in sight for the embattled pound. The currency is gaining a little bit of ground today — at least against the euro.

Last week, the sterling was lower against many of its major counterparts, including the euro, which has its own problems. There are still issues with slow factory growth in the United Kingdom, and that is likely to continue to weigh on the pound. However, sterling does appear to be making up some lost ground. With the pound discounted so much after last week, some Forex traders are buying.

While the pound is still down against the US dollar, it is making up some lost ground against the euro, as well as gaining against the yen. UK factory growth is likely to remain a factor, and many Forex traders are also waiting to see what the Bank of England will do next, although chances are that it won’t have a lot of options.

At 13:15 GMT GBP/USD is down to 1.6859 from the open at 436863. EUR/GBP is lower, though, dropping to 0.7939 from the open at 0.7959. GBP/JPY is gaining ground, moving up to 173.2035 from the open at 172.9650.

If you have any questions, comments or opinions regarding the Great Britain Pound, feel free to post them using the commentary form below.

Forex News

Economic Data Weighs on Pound

By , August 1, 2014 7:56 am

Sterling is heading lower today, dropping as the latest manufacturing growth data disappoints. The UK economy continues to struggle, and it doesn’t help much that the Bank of England has predicted slowing growth in the economy. Indeed, compared to some of its major counterparts, the slowdown is disappointing, and contributing to losses for the pound.

The latest UK PMI from Markit fell to 55.4 in July, down from a 57.2 in June. The drop wasn’t wholly unexpected, but it still hasn’t done much to help the UK pound against its counterparts. It’s expected for the sterling to struggle against the US dollar, since the greenback is benefiting from a pick up in the economy, but UK pound is also struggling against the euro right now.

There are some concerns revolving around the situation in Ukraine, as well as the expected slowdown predicted by the BOE.  This is making it even more difficult to be bullish on sterling. Instead, there are quite a few bears out, worried about the pace of the slower growth, and concerned about how the crisis in Ukraine will impact the British economy.

At 14:07 GMT GBP/USD is down to 1.6831 from the open at1.6885. EUR/GBP is up to 0.7967 from the open at 0.7930. GBP/JPY is down to 172.9985 from the open at 173.5800.

If you have any questions, comments or opinions regarding the Great Britain Pound, feel free to post them using the commentary form below.

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