The British pound sterling exchange traded fund has been steadily rising as traders pushed up bets this month, with hedge funds and other large speculators at their most bullish on the currency since 2011.
The CurrencyShares British Pound Sterling Trust (NYSEArca: FXB) rose 1.6% over the past month and is up 1.3% year-to-date.
As of April 22, long bets on the U.K. currency exceeded shorts by 47,800 contracts, the previous week’s net longs were 50,598, the most since February 2011, Bloomberg reports.
“Sterling’s story is actually very different from other FX investments — sterling is a major currency with an actual trend behind it,” Richard Cochinos, the head of Americas Group-of-10 currency strategy at Citigroup Inc., said in the article. “And it’s trending higher.”
The pound sterling has been appreciating as traders speculate on tightening Bank of England monetary policies. [BoE Bets Bolster British Pound Sterling ETF]
Moreover, foreign demand for U.K. assets has also supported gains in the pound sterling currency.
“Overseas entities looking to buy U.K. entities and another surge in house prices, in part down to foreign-interest demand, are two key pillars for current and future pound strength,” Neil Jones, the head of hedge-fund sales at Mizuho Bank Ltd., said in a note. “A market cannot move without flows, and the flows are firmly buying the pound. I expect further buying.”
However, some strategists remain cautious due to a widening current account deficit and slowing inflation, which could push back any BoE monetary tightening.