Sterling ETF Finds Its Footing Ahead of Brexit Vote

Amid talk of Great Britain’s potential departure from the European Union, also known as Brexit, the CurrencyShares British Pound Sterling Trust (NYSEArca: FXB) has been under pressure this year. However, as the June Brexit vote nears, FXB has been finding firmer footing. For example, the exchange traded fund (ETF) is up about 1.1% over the past 90 days.

Investing in the forex market helps investors diversify and hedge with currencies, which may reduce portfolio risk while maintaining an upside potential. For instance, individuals holding assets denominated in a foreign currency are exposed to currency risks – if the foreign currency weakens compared to the U.S. dollar, the investor’s foreign investments will also depreciate in value once converted back to U.S. dollars.

Related: An ETF Hedge to Assuage ‘Brexit’ Fears

Most, if not all, of FXB’s struggles can be attributed to fears that Great Britain could opt to leave the European Union when a referendum on the matter is held in late June. With just over two months before that referendum, speculation is intensifying regarding how harshly the pound will be punished if Great Britain departs the European Union.

“If Britain leaves the EU, it is likely that the pound will weaken significantly directly after. An “out” vote will mean that it is likely confirmed that the UK will begin the process of exiting from the EU and investors (both foreign and domestic) will quickly start liquidating their UK assets and move them into euros, US dollars, or other currencies,” according to a Canton FX note posted by Business Insider.