Morning Brief – British Pound

Humphrey Percy
Chairman and Founder
Mon 22 Apr 2024

British Pound

Reports that the UK may cut its interest rates before the USA cut their interest rates were the final straw this past week for Sterling. A slew of less than helpful inflation, employment and finally retail sales saw GBP weaker , but then the suggestion that with the background of that less than robust economic picture that the UK might forge ahead with rate cuts at the end of last week inflicted the damage on GBP/USD driving GBP below 1.24 to where it currently languishes at 1.2370.


Maybe it’s the flagging sales of EVs or maybe it’s the reports of mass recalls due to a problem with Tesla accelerators which apparently have developed the habit of jamming thereby giving Tesla owners the unwelcome experience of Tesla’s rocket like acceleration when they least expect it. Whatever the answer for the first time in a year Tesla’s market capitalisation has fallen below that of Exxon which has of course been buoyed by the oil price creeping up over the past weeks. Exxon $475 billion versus Tesla $460 billion.

Brent Oil $87.29

Havana Club

At the end of last week after a keenly fought contest to find the best cocktail making team from around the world , the final took place in Havana, Cuba with 16 finalists in 8 teams pouring for the €10k prize. The contest was jointly arranged by Cuba Ron and Pernod Ricard that saw 600 bartenders enter the competition. In the end only one team could win and in Havana it was…Greece.

EUR/USD 1.0654.

Heat Pumps and Solar Panels

It’s no contest really in the UK, although wading through the various schemes, finance offers and of course government subsidies it will tax even the most ardent eco warrior homeowners keen to burnish their green credentials. Assuming one has the space a heat pump generates less power and even with subsidies and selling surplus electricity back to the grid, they are eye wateringly expensive when compared to fossil power. Solar panels on the other hand have cratered in price due to the market being flooded with cheap Chinese imports, so the in-cost for solar is a fraction of a heat pump. Then to cap it all, in an under reported move the UK Government has cut VAT on solar panels to…Zero.

Best of all solar panels need light more than sunshine which is the final piece of luck in the UK.

GBP/EUR 1.1608

Baker Street

Released this day in 1978 by Scottish singer songwriter  Gerry Rafferty, this song became a huge hit for the former Steeler’s Wheels vocalist who sadly departed this world early fuelled by industrial quantities of alcohol in 2011.

Winding your way down on Baker Street
Light in your head and dead on your feet
Well, another crazy day
You’ll drink the night away
And forget about ev’rything

This city desert makes you feel so cold
It’s got so many people, but it’s got no soul
And it’s taken you so long
To find out you were wrong
When you thought it held everything

You used to think that it was so easy
You used to say that it was so easy
But you’re tryin’, you’re tryin’ now

Another year and then you’d be happy
Just one more year and then you’d be happy
But you’re cryin’, you’re cryin’ now

Way down the street there’s a light in his place
He opens the door, he’s got that look on his face
And he asks you where you’ve been
You tell him who you’ve seen
And you talk about anything

He’s got this dream about buying some land
He’s gonna give up the booze and the one-night stands

Discussion and Analysis by Humphrey Percy, Chairman and Founder

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