British Pound hits 1-month high against US Dollar

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Volatility within the British Pound has been a considerable point of interest recently, especially since the Pound bounced back during the early part of this quarter from a sustained period of decline against the Euro and US Dollar which took place for several months, beginning late last year.

Today, the British Pound is trading at the higher end of the 1.23 range against the US Dollar, which is two whole pence higher than this time one month ago.

The sudden upward movement of the British Pound against the US Dollar and its sustained climb during the course of the past month has been largely down to a lower confidence in the overall United States economy following the collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank, and some regional banks such as First Republic, demonstrating the contagion of toxicity among the banking sector in the US.

Whilst Credit Suisse is not an American bank, one of the many contributing factors toward its demise is that in 2021, Archegos Capital Management, a family office that managed the personal assets of Bill Hwang, at one time managing over $36 billion in assets, was assisted by Credit Suisse to establish itself in the United States.

Mr Huang had been banned from trading in Hong Kong and regardless of this, Credit Suisse helped him rebrand his hedge fund as Archegos and move it to New York, subsequent to which he lost $20 billion and was arrested on charges of fraud and racketeering. Of this, Credit Suisse was exposed to approximately $5.5 billion.

Whilst that may have taken place two years ago, it was one of the US Dollar-denominated catastrophes that led to the downfall of Credit Suisse, hence memories are long, and the US financial markets economy came under the spotlight during the demise of Credit Suisse, which took place just a short time after the demise of Silicon Valley Bank.

Now, with confidence in banking at a new low across the United States, investment in that sector is being approached with trepidation, and bank stocks listed on US exchanges declined in value.

The bank run which resulted in many people and companies withdrawing their funds from First Republic then escalated in that larger Tier 1 banks then began sending their customers money to the tune of $30 billion to First Republic to try to prop it up.

This is the type of practice which does not instil confidence at all.

Interestingly, the contagion has not reached the United Kingdom and there is no banking crisis on the British side of the Atlantic.

This could be a simple explanation for the Pound’s sudden strong performance against the US Dollar, especially given that all other factors relating to high levels of inflation, and rising interest rates still continue to affect both the British and American monetary policy – neither is out of those woods, but the banking strength appears to be higher in the United Kingdom than it does across the pond.

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