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CurrencyShares British Pound Sterling Trust ETF (FXB)

  • Oct. 14, 2014, 3:33 AM
    • U.K. comparable retail sales surprisingly slumped 2.1% on year in September after rising 1.3% in August and badly missed forecasts for a rise of 1%.
    • Food sales continued to fall, while and clothing and footwear sales hit record lows.
    • The pound is -0.2% at $1.6051, while the FTSE 100 is -1.5%. (PR)
    | Oct. 14, 2014, 3:33 AM | 2 Comments
  • Oct. 6, 2014, 3:49 PM
    | Oct. 6, 2014, 3:49 PM | 2 Comments
  • Sep. 19, 2014, 3:02 AM
    • European equity futures (NYSEARCA:EWU) indicate positive opens following Scotland's "no" vote. Euro STOXX 50 futures is up 1%, while FTSE 100 futures indicates U.K. markets could open up 1.1%. Pound futures (NYSEARCA:FXB) are up about 0.5%.
    • With 31 of 32 constituencies now final, unionists had won 55% of the vote and separatists had 45%.
    • Shares of stocks exposed to Scotland like Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE:RBS) and Lloyds (NYSE:LYG) indicate early gains of 2-3%.
    | Sep. 19, 2014, 3:02 AM | Comment!
  • Sep. 18, 2014, 9:22 PM
    • Just two of thirty-two regions have reported, but those in favor of Scotland staying in the U.K. have a comfortable lead. The story of the evening so far is remarkably high turnout - most regions are in the 80-90% range; this compared to the 60% range for recent general elections.
    • It's still very early and results from the heavily populated areas of Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeen aren't due until midnight eastern daylight time.
    • The pound (NYSEARCA:FXB) is higher by 0.7% to $1.6510, and FTSE 100 (NYSEARCA:EWU) futures are up 0.45%.
    | Sep. 18, 2014, 9:22 PM | 4 Comments
  • Sep. 17, 2014, 3:52 PM
    • Though most of the polls give the "No" (to breaking away from the U.K.) camp the lead, the pound (NYSEARCA:FXB) is behaving a bit nervously. It's now slightly lower on the session after being up nicely this morning following a larger-than-expected decline in unemployment.
    • Independence would be "an economic trapdoor down which we go, from which me might never escape," says former U.K. PM Gordon Brown in the sort of fear-mongering comment becoming fairly typical from politicians who support the status quo.
    • “Secession would be a catastrophe for Scotland,” says Spanish foreign minister Garcia-Margallo. “It would start a process of Balkanization that nobody in Europe wants.” Spain, of course, has its own secession issues in Catalonia.
    • The U.K. banks are showing little nervousness, with Barclays (BCS +0.8%), RBS (RBS +0.8%), and Lloyds (LYG +1.5%) all in the green, and HSBC (HSBC) just marginally lower.
    | Sep. 17, 2014, 3:52 PM | 15 Comments
  • Sep. 17, 2014, 7:30 AM
    • The unemployment rate fell to 6.2% from 6.4% in the three months ending in July, the lowest level in six years. A separate gauge, the claimant measure fell to 2.9%, also the lowest since 2008. Wages remain sluggish though, with basic pay rising an annual 0.7% during the quarter, matching a record low.
    • The one thing holding back rate hikes in the U.K. is that slow wage number, according to Bank of England chief Mark Carney.
    • In separate news, the BOE minutes show MPC members again split 7-2 on keeping the benchmark rate at 0.5% (2 wanted a hike).
    • The pound is higher by 0.3% vs. the dollar and buying $1.6320.
    | Sep. 17, 2014, 7:30 AM | Comment!
  • Sep. 16, 2014, 4:39 AM
    • Hedge funds are cutting their long positions on cable, as the gap between "yes" and "no" votes for Scottish independence narrows.
    • According to French asset management group Lyxor, investors on average have cut their positions from from 5% of their net assets at the end of May to -1.3% in early September.
    • Last week, the pound fell to $1.60, its weakest level in nearly a year, due to the uncertainty of Scotland's future.
    • Sterling is lower by 0.4% vs. the dollar to $1.6168. FTSE -0.4%.
    • Pound ETFs: FXB, GBB
    • British equity ETFs: EWU, EWUS, FKU, DXPS, DBUK, QGBR
    | Sep. 16, 2014, 4:39 AM | Comment!
  • Sep. 11, 2014, 7:45 AM
    • There's a lot being made of last weekend's poll showing a majority of Scottish voters for the first time favoring independence, but in the spot where folks need to put money behind their opinions, it's not even close.
    • Wagers placed at Betfair Group show an 80% chance of a "No" vote for independence - roughly £4M has been placed on no and just £1M placed on yes. "The big money trades continue to go on no, fueled by significant bets from south of the border," says Betfair.
    • The easiest way to play a "No" vote (referendum is Sept. 18) would probably be to buy pounds, but, alas, it's bounced by nearly 200 pips since diving Monday morning in wake of the weekend poll.
    • ETFs: FXB, GBB
    • Other possibilities would include buying the British banks - BCS, RBS, LYG, HSBC, OTCPK:SCBFF - which have also been under pressure on worry of a break-up.
    • Previously: RBS, Lloyds to relocate if Scottish independence announced
    | Sep. 11, 2014, 7:45 AM | Comment!
  • Sep. 10, 2014, 4:55 AM
    • Although largely keeping out of the public debate until now, Prime Minister David Cameron beseeched Scots this morning to shun independence.
    • "We do not want this family of nations to be ripped apart," says Cameron, but "if the U.K. breaks apart, it breaks apart forever."
    • Several recent polls have shown an increase in support for independence ahead of next week's vote, spooking financial markets and raising the largest challenge to the U.K. since Irish independence almost a century ago.
    • Pound ETFs: FXB, GBB
    • British equity ETFs: EWU, EWUS, FKU, DXPS, DBUK, QGBR
    | Sep. 10, 2014, 4:55 AM | Comment!
  • Sep. 9, 2014, 7:25 AM
    • "If interest rates were to follow the path expected by markets - that is, beginning to increase by the spring and thereafter rising very gradually,” inflation would reach the 2 percent target and 1.2 million jobs would have been created, Carney says, speaking  at the annual Trades Union Conference in Liverpool. “In other words, we would achieve our mandate.”
    • "The recovery has exceeded all expectations [and] has momentum ... You can expect interest rates to begin to increase."
    • Headed south nearly all summer and tumbling further yesterday amid rumblings of a "yes" vote for Scottish independence, the pound erases today's losses after Carney's speech and is now up 0.1% on the session at $1.6116. The FTSE is flat for the day.
    | Sep. 9, 2014, 7:25 AM | Comment!
  • Sep. 8, 2014, 7:22 AM
    • For the first time a majority of voters favor Scottish independence (47% vs. 45% against), according to a weekend poll. The vote is set for September 18.
    • A yes vote, says SocGen's Kit Juckes, "would increase moves for secession across Europe, increase the momentum for the U.K. to leave the EU and hurt Scottish economic growth potential." He reckons it could take the pound down by perhaps another 5%.
    • Sterling is lower by 1.25% vs. the dollar to $1.6119, its weakest in nearly a year. It's down a similar amount vs. the euro. The FTSE is also a laggard to the downside this morning, down 1.1%.
    • Pound ETFs: FXB, GBB
    • British equity ETFs: EWU, EWUS, FKU, DXPS, DBUK, QGBR
    | Sep. 8, 2014, 7:22 AM | Comment!
  • Aug. 19, 2014, 7:29 AM
    • July inflation slowed to 1.6% from June's 1.9% and against forecasts for 1.8%, according to the Office for National Statistics. Retail-price inflation - the gauge used as a basis for inflation-linked bonds - slowed to 2.5% in July from 2.6%.
    • The pound tumbled about 60 pips on the news and is now off 0.5% on the session at $1.6640.
    • ETFs: FXB, GBB
    | Aug. 19, 2014, 7:29 AM | Comment!
  • Aug. 13, 2014, 9:20 AM
    • The U.K.'s unemployment rate fell to 6.4% in Q2, the lowest since late 2008 and down from 6.5% in May, says the Office for National Statistics.
    • Average wages excluding bonuses rose by 0.6% in the year to June, the slowest rise since records began in 2001. Including bonuses, wages fell 0.2%, the first fall since 2009.
    • Wage growth is "remarkably weak" and there is enough slack in the economy to keep the benchmark rate at a record-low 0.5 percent for now, says Governor Mark Carney. With inflation accelerating to 1.9% in June, real wages for many Britons are continuing to decline.
    • The pound is -0.6% at $1.6716, while the FTSE is +0.1%.
    | Aug. 13, 2014, 9:20 AM | Comment!
  • Aug. 13, 2014, 7:23 AM
    • In its quarterly inflation report, the Bank of England halved its forecast for wage growth this year to 1.25%.
    • Expectations had been for the bank to begin hiking rates later this year or early next, but officials signaled the weak wage growth could forestall any such move. "In light of the heightened uncertainty about the current degree of slack, the committee noted the importance of monitoring the expected path of costs, particularly wages, in assessing inflationary pressure."
    • Sterling is lower by 0.6% to $1.6706.
    | Aug. 13, 2014, 7:23 AM | Comment!
  • Jul. 30, 2014, 8:06 AM
    • With markets already pricing in "considerable" tightening from the Bank of England, what upside surprises are left for the pound, asks Citi's Valentin Marinov, his team forecasting the currency to strengthen to no more than $1.72 by year-end vs. a previous estimate of $1.77.
    • Investors, says Marinov. are now starting to pay attention to downside risks, like September's Scottish vote for independence and the role of the U.K. in a more integrated EU.
    • The pound, of course, has been on a roll, up 12% over the last year - making it the best performer among 10 developed nation currencies tracked by Bloomberg.
    • ETFs: FXB, GBB
    | Jul. 30, 2014, 8:06 AM | Comment!
  • Jul. 23, 2014, 10:46 AM
    • “Demand from the U.K.’s traditional markets such as Europe is a staggering 25 percent below a continuation of its pre-crisis trend,” says Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, also suggesting interest-rate hikes - when they do begin - will be more gradual than typical thanks to the challenges still facing the recovery.
    • Also mentioned in the speech as an impediment is the strong pound, and his words sent sterling lower by about 60 pips, now off 0.15% on the session at $1.7037.
    | Jul. 23, 2014, 10:46 AM | Comment!
FXB vs. ETF Alternatives
FXB Description
CurrencyShares British Pound Sterling Trust is designed to track the price of the British Pound Sterling net of Trust expenses, which are expected to be paid from interest earned on the deposited British Pound Sterlings.
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