Industry Updates

Long US dollar short sterling ETF sees inflows as Brexit deadline looms

Tom Eckett

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A long US dollar short sterling ETF saw some of the most inflows across ETFs listed in Europe last week as Brexit uncertainty investors to bet against the pound.

According to data from Ultumus, the WisdomTree Long USD Short GBP ETF (GBUS) witnessed inflows of $90m in the week ending 23 August, the highest inflows for a currency ETF and thirteenth for all ETFs listed in Europe.

With the UK set to leave the European Union on 31 October, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s refusal to rule out suspending Parliament to push through a no-deal has seemingly spooked investors.

The Prime Minister has spent the last two weeks meeting with European leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Council President Donald Tusk to try and secure a last gasp deal.

Johnson is currently insisting the Irish backstop be removed from the Withdrawal Agreement despite repeated statements from the EU that this is not an option.

Sterling has been on a downward trend against the US dollar since the start of the year. Having reached highs of $1.332 in March, it has fallen to trade around $1.227, as at 27 August.

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The strengthening US dollar is despite the escalating trade war between Beijing and Washington.

Last Friday, US President Donald Trump announced tariffs on $550bn of Chinese goods while China retaliated with $75bn of US goods.

Helal Miah, investment research analyst at The Share Centre, commented: “There were mixed takeaways from Boris Johnson’s trip to Europe to meet Merkel and Macron.

“Sterling saw a modest bounce following comments from Europe’s leading leaders but markets are getting used to the idea that a no-deal is looking increasingly likely.

“Attention towards the end of the week switched to the G8 summit in France with the US and UK leaders increasingly looking like outcasts.

“The grown-ups in the room will look to steer the US president away from having another strop and escalating the trade war with China while reminding the UK leader of potential impact of the most damaging form of Brexit.”

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