Sunday 15 December 2019

Sterling hits a two-year high after No vote in Scotland

Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

The pound sterling roared to a two-year high against the euro yesterday, after voters in Scotland rejected the prospect of independence in a referendum.

The pound hit the high before falling back later in the day.

Sterling was volatile in recent weeks after opinion polls suggested the battle over independence was neck and neck.

A Scottish No vote meant the risk of a period of sustained volatility that might have followed a Yes vote evaporated.

The stronger pound is good news for exporters here who sell into the UK and gain a competitive advantage when the euro is weaker.

In early trades yesterday sterling hit a two-year high of 78.10 pence per euro. It had also hit a six-year high against the yen, before slipping back.

Shares in Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) were up more than 3pc to 368.2 per share in early trading. The Ulster Bank parent confirmed that plans to move its headquarters from Edinburgh to London have been shelved.

"It is business as usual for all our customers across the UK," RBS said in a statement.

Stock in other Scotland-based companies also bounced, including Aberdeen Asset Management, which rose 1.1pc.

"UK investors will welcome a reduction in the uncertainty of recent months," its chief executive, Martin Gilbert, said.

Some headwinds remain following the vote, however. Investors have yet to get to grips with a promise from political leaders in London of greater autonomy in Scotland - a pledge which helped the No campaign.

Irish Independent

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