GBP caught up in both its own domestic challenges as well as the competing currents of a fluctuating USD and what has been a strong EUR in past weeks has rather quietly been slipping versus most currencies. Fortunately, few Brits are watching the exchange rate due to travels restrictions, but come Wednesday this week, there will be much greater attention to the GBP exchange rate. The FTSE at 6,159 on Friday night while weaker on the week is still benefitting from markets’ confidence that the world’s monetary authorities will continue to bail out investors-successfully. Brent oil at $41. Gold at $1770 and Silver at $17.75. The eagle eyed among you will immediately clock the Gold/Silver ratio at 98. It was up at 120 in March this year and at the beginning of the year at 84. Those who look at trading the price relationship rather than buy gold would buy silver and sell gold at these levels- and have something sufficiently strong close to hand to fortify themselves-it’s a bumpy ratio to say the least!
Each year in Florence Calcio Storico or “historic football”, the most violent form of macho street football that you can imagine takes place which has bare knuckle fighting and maiming as entirely acceptable tactics. The rules were written in 1580 when today’s enthusiasm for Health and Safety Measures was unknown. The matches which last 50 minutes are between the four neighbourhoods of Florence and are not for the faint hearted whether you are a participant or a spectator which often number thousands. This year of course the matches which were due to take place last Wednesday had to be cancelled. However all being well they will take place in the Piazza Santa Croce in Florence in September or failing that, those readers keen to watch will have to wait until June 24 2021.
As virtual Glasto came to an end last night with recordings of Lady Gaga from 2009 and Michael Stipe of REM from 2003, I poured myself a glass of Chateau Leoville Barton 1986 and toasted that great financial market revolution in the U.K. Big Bang that took place the same year as that amazing wine was made. Big Bang saw the end of so called single capacity and permitted stock brokers and market makers to operate from single entities. Sounds archaic? Well it was very exciting at the time and when everything seemed possible and much better for those of us emerging from 3 day weeks, labour strikes and 20% interest rates at the end of the 70’s! Sounds weird? It was.. but no more weird than Q2 2020. What will historians make of this period in 30 years time?!
Meantime here’s a bit of REM’s Everybody Hurts from 1992 and their fine album Automatic for the People:
When your day is long
And the night
The night is yours alone
When you’re sure you’ve had enough
Of this life
Well hang on
Don’t let yourself go
‘Cause everybody cries
And everybody hurts sometimes
Sometimes everything is wrong
Now it’s time to sing along
When your day is night alone (hold on)
(Hold on) if you feel like letting go (hold on)
If you think you’ve had too much
Of this life
Well, hang on
Discussion and Analysis by Humphrey Percy, Chairman and Founder