The British Pound—or ‘pound sterling’—is the oldest currency still in use today, with its history stretching as far back as Anglo-Saxon England in the middle 8th century. Today, it is the fourth-most-traded currency in the foreign exchange market, and it is also the third most held reserve currency in all global reserves. As one of the highest-valued currencies in the world for many years, it is no wonder the British Pound has maintained its high popularity amongst foreign currency traders throughout history.
|British Pound Contract Specifications|
|Contract Size||62,500 British pounds|
|Trading Hours||CME Globex: Sundays: 5:00pm – 4:00pm CT next day.
Monday – Friday: 5:00pm – 4:00pm CT the next day, except on Friday – closes at 4:00pm and reopens Sunday at 5:00pm CT.
|CME ClearPort: Sunday – Friday 5:00pm – 4:15pm CT with a 45–minute break each day beginning at 4:15pm|
|Minimum Price Fluctuation||$.0001 per British pound increments ($6.25/contract).|
|Product Code||CME Globex: 6B|
|CME ClearPort: BP|
|Listed Contracts||Twenty months in the March quarterly cycle (Mar, Jun, Sep, Dec)|
|Last Trade Date||9:16 a.m. Central Time (CT) on the second business day immediately preceding the third Wednesday of the contract month (usually Monday).|
|Settlement Procedures||Physical Delivery – GBP/USD Futures Settlement Procedures|
|Position Accountability||10,000 contracts|
|Block Trade Eligibility||Yes.|
|Block Minimum||100 Contracts|
|Exchange Rules||These contracts are listed with, and subject to, the rules and regulations of CME.|
|Source: CME Group|
British Pound Facts
British Pound futures allow traders to assess value against the U.S. dollar, as well as the opportunity to address risk from currency fluctuations in other foreign trade markets.
Currency rates are determined by a one base currency quoted in relation to a different currency. Major currencies that are traded are floating. Central bank monetary policies can affect the value of currency. The Bank of England regulates monetary policy for the United Kingdom. For instance, low interest rates dictated as policy can be bearish for currency value because new money is being pumped into the market. This is unappealing to foreign investors because returns yield those low interest rates. In contrast, high interest rates set as policy are bullish and appealing to foreign investors because of high interest yields from the returns. Currency values can be also be affected by the nation’s current account balance. An excess or influx in the balance is considered to be bullish, while a deficit or drainage is considered to be bearish. Economic stability and investment in the country also help strengthen currency values because international investors are likely to buy into that country’s favorable markets.
Last updated September 2015
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