The British Pound rose against all the major currencies apart from the US Dollar on Thursday, with gains extending to more than a full cent against both the Canadian and Australian Dollars. GBP/USD was volatile within a half cent range from 1.3930 to 1.3980 and ended the New York session pretty much near the middle of the day’s trading band. From an overnight low in Asia of 1.3920, the pound has recovered almost half a cent during the European morning and is up against everything except the EUR.
The 2017 figures from the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) show that London continues to dominate UK tourism, despite a combination of terrorist atrocities and unreliable rail links. The top 10 tourist spots are once again in the capital, while Edinburgh now takes 11th and 12th places. The British Museum is the outright UK winner, with 5.9 million visitors last year. Tate Modern took over second place from the National Gallery, and is now only four per cent behind the British Museum. Visitors to the National Gallery fell by one-sixth over the year. The Natural History Museum recorded four per cent fewer visits, but remains in fourth place. The V&A, Science Museum, Southbank Centre, Somerset House, Tower of London and Royal Museums Greenwich complete the top 10. Only the V&A saw a significant increase in numbers: up a quarter, in part due to the success of the exhibition Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains. Edinburgh’s top two attractions, the National Museum of Scotland and Edinburgh Castle, each rose four places and took 11th and 12th spots respectively.
There is now less than a week until the EU Summit at which decisions will be taken on the next steps in the Brexit negotiations. With politicians focused almost exclusively on Russia over the past few days, this Summit has rather dropped off the radar screens in the UK. As the date approaches, though, do be prepared for comments from either side which have the potential to move the pound suddenly and without any warning. Having orders already in place is one of the best ways to profit from or to mitigate risk as volatility picks up. The British Pound opens in North America at USD1.3960, GBP/EUR1.1325 and GBP/CAD1.8250.