News & Analysis

April draws to a close: Macron's 'coup' allegation an over-reaction, GBP falls against Euro

Andrew Saks, Friday, 30 April 2021

Today marks the last day in an action-packed April, in which the British Pound soared to its highest value against the US Dollar in over a year, finishing two days go at 1.40, settling at the month end at a very respectable 1.39.

Rather oddly, the Pound's value against the Euro has declined during the past month, despite a peak on April 19 where it reached 1.16. Overall, the entire month of April has been a period of low Pound values against the Euro, with it languishing at 1.15 today.

The strange dynamic which has led to a somewhat surprising low Pound value against the Euro is an anomaly, as it would be reasonable to expect it to be the other way round.

British Tier 1 banks have been releasing outstanding results for the first quarter of 2021, with those not dragged into the mire by the Archegos hedge fund demise having made an absolute fortune in the first three months of the year. Indeed, NatWest, a division of RBS, one of the largest banks in the world, romped home with a massive 82% jump in Q1 earnings!

Similarly, technology companies in the UK have done very well indeed over the first three months of the year.

Compare that to mainland Europe which is under draconian lockdown in many regions, has no technology or banking sector that can even hold a candle to that of the United Kingdom, and tensions, riots and anti-government sentiment is rampant. Indeed, twenty retired French generals have threatened to launch a coup d'etat against President Emmanuel Macron over what they consider to be a 'disintegration of France', a move to which he responded by threatening punishment or imprisonment, whilst the nation's businesses flounder under a strict and prolonged lockdown.

Yet despite all of this, the Pound is at a low point against the Euro.

Perhaps after the May bank holiday in Britain, investor confidence bolstered by these incredible bank and technology company results, the United Kingdom's partially open economy compared to Europe's mostly closed one, and the airing of views over the London Mayoral elections may stimulate some volatility.

RBS stock is through the roof at 196.70p. Hardly surprising!

All that remains to be said is well done Britain and its tenatious, modern and fastidious businesses. Long may it continue.

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