Scottish Vote Holds Centre Stage

10 September, 2014

Simon Eastman

Tuesday was yet another day where the media continually reported on the various different polls showing how the vote is currently running and expected to go in the Scottish Independence referendum. Fundamentally, we just dont know for certain which way it’s going to go until the 18th September and even so, have no idea how a Yes vote will affect the markets, but that doesn’t really matter right now. As regular readers of our reports and for regular followers of the currency markets will be aware, the markets move on speculation and rumour rather than fact.

That in mind, the speculators still have plenty of time to move the markets and for now, they’re happy to keep short selling sterling as the campaigners north of the border continue to rally for independence. Meanwhile, south of the border down in the city, investors are not backing the pound and we yet again saw another day of sterling losses. This wasn’t helped by some fairly poor trade balance figures released in the morning which missed expectations by a whole 1 billion pounds! Industrial and manufacturing production results were a little above expectations, but to investors, this meant very little.

Mark Carney in a speech confirmed the Bank of England were looking at spring 2015 for the start of interest rates to go up here and with that in mind, having already been priced into the markets some time ago by investors, the pound had nothing to benefit from, as has been the same story for the past week.

So on to today, where we have the UK inflation report, which normally can bring about some sterling movement although it’s not worth holding onto this fact today. There are a few inflation readings from around Europe and nothing of note from the US this afternoon ahead of the RBNZ interest rate decision and policy statement this evening at 10pm BST. Anyone with a Kiwi dollar requirement could do well to look at purchasing their dollars before tonight just in case any surprises are announced and we see further dollar strength in addition to the 5 cents the Kiwi has made in as many days against the pound.

The main focus will as always be on Scotland as the government and opposition leaders head north to try and persuade voters that splitting from Great Britain is not the best option and they should vote No…. but is it too little, too late? For those reading with an upcoming currency transfer to make, it may be time to take what you can now just in case things get worse. One traders stated on the BBC news that it doesn’t matter to them what happens with Scotland, the pound is being sold and every time there is a spike it’s another opportunity to short sell and make more profit. It’s snowballing and the momentum towards selling sterling isn’t going to change anytime soon it seems, so the sooner you sell yours, the better off you foreign currency account will look!