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Brexit referendum: more volatility ahead for Sterling

According to James Butterfill, Head of Research at ETF Securities comments, Brexit is the mother of all market uncertainties: legal, political, economic, polling and currency risk combining to make any confidence about the short-term outlook foolhardy...

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We expect more instability in currency markets, as Brexit concern adds to the pre-existing uncertainties over Fed monetary policy and the US election. With so many voters as yet to decide which way to vote, volatility will remain elevated for GBP crosses and will likely keep Sterling under some pressure against major currencies. Market uncertainty has also resulted in renewed appetite for FX hedged products.

However, such depressed levels of GBP open up buying opportunities in the medium term as uncertainty fades. Historically, steep falls in Sterling have presaged strong rebounds. The subsidence of volatility following the financial crisis and the Scottish referendum, led to strong gains for GBP against the Euro.

Indeed, we expect that the EUR/GBP is the more favourable cross to implement views of Britain remaining within the EU, with the US expected to tighten rates further in 2016 and the ECB keeping the Euro weak with aggressive policy stimulus.

James also believes Brexit-related turbulence is likely to sustain appetite for gold, given its historic low correlation to the broader economic environment.

"The improved performance for gold we forecast in 2016 has already materialised, driven by heightened concerns for European bank liquidity, as well as Brexit, and US monetary policy. Investors are returning to gold as a core diversifier and safe haven investment. Even if the UK votes to remain, we expect continued appetite for gold, given the challenging investment and geopolitical environment.”

Next Finance , June 2

Article also available in : English EN | français FR

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