Pound sterling gets big boost from Scotland's 'no' vote

19 September 2014

The British pound rose sharply on Friday morning after Scotland said "No" to independence, reclaiming its position as the best-performing major currency of the past 12 months.

With the margin of victory about 55 per cent to 45 per cent (See: Relief for Cameron as Scotland decides against separation) , the sterling is on course for its biggest two-day rise against the dollar in more than a year.

Early on Friday, Scotland's support for the 307-year-old Union boosted the pound, which rose against the dollar to $1.6525 at one stage - up nearly 1 percentage point since midnight. The pound also strengthened against the euro to 1.2785 - the strongest in more than two years.

FTSE 100 futures pointed to the blue chip index opening more than 1 per cent up on Friday, boosted by the poll results and a strong performance on Wall Street where the Dow Jones climbed 109 points - or 0.64 per cent - to a freash record high of 17,266.

Sterling strengthened initially after Clamannashire, the first constituency to declare, voted against independence shortly before 1.30 am. It was a blow to Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond as the small council with just 0.9 per cent of the Scottish population was a top "Yes" target. Credit Suisse had given it a 10/10 liklihood of the council voting "Yes"- the highest it predicted across the whole of Scotland - but in the end 19,036 vote "No", against 16,350 who voted "Yes".

The pound gained further to $1.6518 shortly afterwards when Orkney - the constituency of Alistair Carmichael, Secretary of State for Scotland - declared a "No" vote, with 10,004 votes to 4,883. The island is a strong Liberal Democrat territory that was expected to return a safe "No" vote. Shetland, its northerly neighbour, revealed similar results.

Not even a "Yes" vote in Glasgow was able to dampen sterling's rise.

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