Sterling reaches $1.39 in best performance for three years

SourceThe Guardian
SectorFinancial Markets
CountryMiddle east

The pound has hit its highest level against the dollar for almost three years as global markets were buoyed up by hopes for a faster economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Sterling rose by 0.5% to hit a 33-month high against the dollar on Monday, trading above $1.39 on the global currency markets for the first time since 2018, while also rising to a nine-month high against the euro of almost €1.15. Against a backdrop of growing optimism amongst global investors over the economic rebound from the crisis and rising commodity prices, the FTSE 100 closed up 2.5% at 6,756, marking the biggest daily gain for more than month. The biggest risers included British Airways owner IAG, which climbed 7%, National Express, which rose 11%, and cruise line Carnival, which ended the day up 8%. The positive figures came after more than 15 million people in Britain had been offered their first coronavirus vaccine, and as Boris Johnson prepared to outline a roadmap next week for easing lockdown restrictions this spring. The UK’s Brexit deal, despite evidence of problems with cross-border trade a month on from leaving, has also relieved pressure on the currency. Hopes for a swift global rebound were underscored by Japan’s more...