Cable (foreign exchange)

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Cable (or the cable) is a foreign exchange term used for the GBP/USD currency pair rate (British pound vs the US dollar).

The term cable is a slang term used by forex traders to refer to the exchange rate between the pound and dollar and is also used to simply refer to the British pound itself. The term dates its origins to the 19th century. In the 1800s, the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and British pound was transmitted across the Atlantic by a large cable that ran across the ocean floor between the two countries. Since that time the exchange rate has been referred to as the cable.[1] It derives its name from the Transatlantic Cable, a steel cable laid under the Atlantic Ocean in 1858, telegraphically linking the UK with the USA, enabling messages with currency prices to be transmitted between the London and New York Exchanges. The first such exchange rate to be published in The Times appeared in their issue of 10 August 1866.

Optical fibres and satellites have now taken over for both local and international communications, but the nickname has remained in the foreign exchange sector.

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