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Foreign Exchange

GBP/USD: Back to the good old days

Consistency, rather than innovation, could be the differentiator this year again.

I got a note this week from my old mucker Paul Day, deputy head of research at MIG Investments, pointing out that the intra-day movement of cable on Monday (September 8) was the biggest since March 1995. While I hear that lots of funds have struggled with the dollar’s resurgence, the major market-making banks must be rubbing their hands in glee. Few people could have realistically anticipated that 2008 would have been a better year for revenue for FX players than 2007, but the spike in volatility is starting to make that look like a reality.

Talking around, it is also interesting to hear about the relative performance of the market’s major liquidity providers. I’m astonished that some banks actually provided clients with service-level agreements guaranteeing their spreads, which they – not surprisingly – have not always been able to adhere to. But I do hear that some spreads have proved elastic; no doubts the banks’ clients have been swift to report back. Consistency, rather than innovation, could be the differentiator this year again.

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