Britain is half way to recapturing its boom days before the 2008 financial crisis that blew up its banks, if currency markets are any guide.
The CHART OF THE DAY shows sterling is approaching $1.7332. That’s the point at which it will have recovered 50 percent of the slump sparked by the credit crunch that led to the worst British recession since World War II and the Bank of England pumping billions of pounds into a shaken financial system.
The pound’s turnaround is being extended by speculation the U.K. economic recovery is strong enough for the BOE to raise interest rates for the first time since the crisis pressured central banks across the globe to cut borrowing costs.
“Global and domestic confidence in the U.K. is growing,” said Neil Jones, head of hedge-fund sales at Mizuho Bank Ltd. in London. “The U.K. has not even started raising rates.”
BOE Governor Mark Carney said last month the time to normalize U.K. rates is “edging closer.” Investors are betting the central bank, which kept its monetary policy unchanged yesterday, will raise rates by February, according to forward contracts based on the sterling overnight interbank average, or Sonia.
At $1.7133, the U.K. currency is 27 percent higher than the nadir of $1.3503 reached in January 2009. The 10-year average for the exchange rate is $1.7139.