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Posted February 15th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Currency Rates

EURO/GBP – 1.151
US$/GBP – 1.567
CHF/GBP – 1.688
CAN$/GBP – 1.644
AUS$/GBP – 1.762

To request a up-to-the minute quotation, call 0808 163 0102 or fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencyexchange.com/quote.aspx

Although the economic calendar is light today, the rest of the week is a busy one for the UK and the risk of volatility for sterling is high if the data surprises. Tomorrow, CPI inflation is expected to jump above 3%. Whilst this is positive, it is widely accepted that this is attributable to higher fuel costs and the 2.5% VAT increase in January. On Wednesday the minutes of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee are released alongside unemployment data. After the Bank lowered its growth forecasts for the UK in the recent inflation report, the minutes on Tuesday are likely to show a similarly downbeat outlook. The claimant count in the UK is likely to show a marginal improvement. With risk sentiment still driving the market, the risk of sterling dropping is a lot higher this week. If you have any large payments to make in the next few weeks, it might be worthwhile looking at fixing in today’s rate to avoid the market moving against you.

In the Euro zone, the key concern is still the fiscal situation in Greece which is likely to cause volatility. The markets are still awaiting a full breakdown of the supposed bailout, and as such a major global issue this is likely to cause knock on effects and drive risk sentiment over the next week. Aside from that, there is consumer confidence data out tomorrow (expected to show a considerable drop) and advanced PMI data on Friday. With such a major bailout waiting in the wings, this is likely to have a large effect this week – call now to ensure you do not miss out.

In the USA, the focus will be on the Federal Reserve’s ‘exit strategy’ from monetary stimulus. With a quiet start to the week and the market shut for the President’s day holiday today, the markets await the minutes of the Fed’s monetary policy meeting. Price increases are expected from data on Wednesday and Friday – again attributable to higher energy costs. New building starts are expected to increase and unemployment is expected to show an improvement. Depending on how the market reacts (i.e. whether the US dollar trades on risk sentiment or more ‘normal’ drivers) the above data could see the US dollar move either way.

Get in touch today and let us avoid you losing out. Call 0808 163 0102 or +44 (0) 207 898 0541 from outside the UKor fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencyexchange.com/quote.aspx

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Posted February 12th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Currency Rates

EURO/GBP – 1.152
US$/GBP – 1.568
CHF/GBP – 1.69
CAN$/GBP – 1.646
AUS$/GBP – 1.761

To request a up-to-the minute quotation, call 0808 163 0102 or fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencyexchange.com/quote.aspx

Sterling had a better day yesterday – recovering nearly 2 cents against the euro and US dollar. However, the Bank of England’s inflation report on Wednesday held sterling back a little still. There was a lack of data out in the UK yesterday and it is a similar situation again today. As a result, sterling’s movement was driven by a weakening euro and (against the US dollar) an increase in risk appetite as sterling benefited from a lack of confidence in the Euro zone. Sterling is currently benefiting from the focus resting on someone else – when that shifts back to the UK, there are still fundamental issues that need addressing. If you have to make payments soon – sterling is at the top end of this week’s range, so it might be worthwhile taking advantage now.

The big news in the Euro zone was an announcement that the EU leaders had reached an agreement to bail out Greece. However, the market had been waiting for most of the week to see more concrete details of what the bailout entailed and yesterday’s announcement amounts to little more than a show of support – especially as an article in the Guardian this morning suggests that Angela Merkel has made it clear that Germany will not be propping Greece up alone. Data out today has already seen Germany deliver 0.0% growth in the Fourth Quarter of 2009 and at 10am there is GDP data for the Euro zone as a whole. Anything less than expected will spook an already twitchy market and will see euro suffer even more. If you need to move euros into another currency act now as the euro could continue to fall – get in touch now to avoid missing out.

In the US, with Washington crippled by severe blizzards, many announcements have been put on hold – meaning that the retail sales data will have to wait. This caused many traders and investors to shift their focus to the European situation. The US dollar strengthened against the euro as a lack of detail in the bailout package left investors concerned, but as risk appetite increased, the US dollar declined against sterling. With the US dollar trading in a relatively tight range against sterling, let us help time your purchase to ensure you get in at the best level.

Call 0808 163 0102 or +44 (0) 207 898 0541 from outside the UKor fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencyexchange.com/quote.aspx

Posted February 11th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Currency Rates

EURO/GBP – 1.135
US$/GBP – 1.558
CHF/GBP – 1.666
CAN$/GBP – 1.651
AUS$/GBP – 1.757

To request a up-to-the minute quotation, call 0808 163 0102 or fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencyexchange.com/quote.aspx

Sterling retreated yesterday as the Bank of England lowered its outlook for inflation and stated that the UK recovery was “somewhat weaker than first expected”. Mervyn King sees inflation topping out at 3.3% in the first quarter and dropping off as spare capacity in the economy absorbs price pressure. He thinks the UK will retain the AAA credit rating but that it was far too soon to categorically put a stop to the emergency funding programme which was put on hold last week. Elsewhere, UK manufacturing came in better than expected at 0.9% and similarly industrial production beat expectations at 0.5%, however, this good news stayed firmly in the shadow of the Bank of England’s policy outlook. Sterling has continued to fall in the last few days as the positivity wears off – this might be your last chance to take advantage of the current upswing. Call us now for a price.

In the Euro zone, the European Central Bank’s monthly report is out today, but investors are likely to pay little attention to this as the European Union meets to discuss a bail out of Greece. Germany is expected to be a major part of any bailout and whilst this will calm the jitters in the markets in the short term, over the long run a bailout will cause euro weakness and affect the structural integrity of the regional bloc. The press release is scheduled for 15:45 – if you have any euro payments that need to be made or received, there is likely to be sharp movement today. Get in touch for a price.

In the USA, rumours of a bailout of Greek debt have caused the US dollar to weaken as risk appetite returns to the markets. Elsewhere, initial jobless claims data is expected to show a drop in claims in the US in the week to February 6th. Ben Bernanke made several comments yesterday about monetary policy and exiting emergency funding and as a result it will be interesting to see how this affects risk appetite in the coming days. Volatility is high this week – call for a price to avoid losing out.

Call 0808 163 0102 or +44 (0) 207 898 0541 from outside the UKor fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencyexchange.com/quote.aspx

Posted February 10th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Currency Rates

EURO/GBP – 1.141
US$/GBP – 1.572
CHF/GBP – 1.676
CAN$/GBP – 1.678
AUS$/GBP – 1.795

To request a up-to-the minute quotation, call 0808 163 0102 or fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencyexchange.com/quote.aspx

Sterling recovered against US dollar yesterday as the risk aversion that caused sterling to suffer abated after rumours gathered momentum that Greece would be bailed out by Germany or the EU. Key data is released today in the UK in the form of the Bank of England’s quarterly inflation report. After pausing the emergency funding last week, the report is expected to show inflation overshooting the forecasted 2% in November. This could prove to be positive for sterling, as any hint that inflation is too high will see the Bank of Engalnd start to tighten up monetary conditions – a sure boost for sterling. However, Mervyn King made clear in the last few weeks that he expects inflation to ‘spike’ initially and then drop off as spare capacity in the economy absorbs price pressure.

In the Euro zone, the Wall Street Journal announced that Germany was chairing a plan to stabilise markets by guaranteeing Greece – similar to the Dubai situation a few months ago. “People familiar with the matter” were cited as the source of the rumours. This saw the euro jump 0.3% against US dollar going some way to reversing losses over the last few days. There is no real data of importance out today in the Euro zone and the single currency will be driven by the Greece situation and associated market sentiment. Get in touch to avoid losing out from this increased volatility.

In the USA, investors seemed happier to take on more risks as rumours circulated over Greece. The Dow Jones rallied by 1.5% closing above 10,000 and the US dollar suffered its biggest daily loss since 27th November – clear indicators that risk appetite drove investment yesterday. Trade data for December is released today which may strengthen the US dollar if the trade deficit for the country narrows. The volatility of the US dollar is high and anything might happen – call us today to ensure you don’t miss out on a good price.

Elsewhere, the Royal Bank of Australia Governor seemed to point towards a tighter monetary policy to keep asset bubbles under control. This is likely to push up demand for the currency as prospects of higher yield from Australian dollar assets improve.

Call 0808 163 0102 or +44 (0) 207 898 0541 from outside the UKor fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencyexchange.com/quote.aspx

Posted February 9th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Currency Rates

EURO/GBP – 1.134
US$/GBP – 1.558
CHF/GBP – 1.665
CAN$/GBP – 1.665
AUS$/GBP – 1.785

To request a up-to-the minute quotation, call 0808 163 0102 or fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencyexchange.com/quote.aspx

Yesterday saw price volatility on sterling throughout the day as risk sentiment yet again drove the currency markets between sterling, euro and US dollar. Sterling dipped towards $1.55/ £1 but then recovered after speculation that a bail out of Greek debt was imminent after European Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet cut short a trip to Australia fuelling rumours that an announcement was due. UK retail sales fell 0.7% in January which was termed an “awful start to the year” by British Retail Consortium President Stephen Robertson. This has caused sterling to drop a little this morning, but it was not necessarily a surprise with the coldest January since 1987 and a rise in VAT that would have pushed consumers to bring larger purchases forward back in December. A survey of estate agents showed house prices have risen in the UK – however this is again attributable to a shortage of supply inflating prices. The UK Trade deficit is expected to fall as the effects of a weaker currency filter through into the real economy. If you have sterling payments to make in dollars get in touch now as we may see sterling continue to lose ground against the US$.

In the Euro zone, Spanish and Portuguese bond markets are showing signs that investors are sceptical on their ability to service their debt. News also came out that speculative traders have amassed the biggest ever ‘short’ position against the euro (i.e. betting that it will drop). This demonstrates that sentiment surrounding the single currency is centred more and more on debt. Data out today is likely to show that the German trade surplus narrowed by 2bn after declines in exports. Also out is revised data that is expected to show that the euro zone rate of inflation fell to 0.8% showing the first decline in four months.

The US dollar is still trading on risk sentiment as a lack of fundamental data leaves traders and investors to be driven by the outlook over the European debt situation. The US dollar did lose some ground against the euro as risk appetite returned as rumours circulated over a potential bailout of Greece. However the US dollar still remains at the strongest levels for some time against the euro and sterling so now is a better time to move dollars into those currencies and take advantage of the current rates.

Call 0808 163 0102 or +44 (0) 207 898 0541 from outside the UKor fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencyexchange.com/quote.aspx

Posted February 9th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Currency Rates

EURO/GBP – 1.134
US$/GBP – 1.558
CHF/GBP - 1.665
CAN$/GBP – 1.665
AUS$/GBP – 1.785
ZAR/GBP – 12.038
JPY/GBP – 139.79
HKD/GBP – 12.107

To request a up-to-the minute quotation, call 0808 163 0102 or fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencybusiness.com/quote1.htm

Yesterday saw price volatility on sterling throughout the day as risk sentiment yet again drove the currency markets between sterling, euro and US dollar. Sterling dipped towards $1.55/ £1 but then recovered after speculation that a bail out of Greek debt was imminent after European Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet cut short a trip to Australia fuelling rumours that an announcement was due. UK retail sales fell 0.7% in January which was termed an “awful start to the year” by British Retail Consortium President Stephen Robertson. This has caused sterling to drop a little this morning, but it was not necessarily a surprise with the coldest January since 1987 and a rise in VAT that would have pushed consumers to bring larger purchases forward back in December. A survey of estate agents showed house prices have risen in the UK – however this is again attributable to a shortage of supply inflating prices. The UK Trade deficit is expected to fall as the effects of a weaker currency filter through into the real economy. If you have sterling payments to make in dollars get in touch now as we may see sterling continue to lose ground against the US$.

In the Euro zone, Spanish and Portuguese bond markets are showing signs that investors are sceptical on their ability to service their debt. News also came out that speculative traders have amassed the biggest ever ‘short’ position against the euro (i.e. betting that it will drop). This demonstrates that sentiment surrounding the single currency is centred more and more on debt. Data out today is likely to show that the German trade surplus narrowed by 2bn after declines in exports. Also out is revised data that is expected to show that the euro zone rate of inflation fell to 0.8% showing the first decline in four months.

The US dollar is still trading on risk sentiment as a lack of fundamental data leaves traders and investors to be driven by the outlook over the European debt situation. The US dollar did lose some ground against the euro as risk appetite returned as rumours circulated over a potential bailout of Greece. However the US dollar still remains at the strongest levels for some time against the euro and sterling so now is a better time to move dollars into those currencies and take advantage of the current rates.

To request a up-to-the minute quotation, call 0808 163 0102 (or +44 (0) 845 638 0571 from outside the UK) or fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencybusiness.com/quote1.htm

Posted February 8th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Currency Rates

EURO/GBP – 1.137
US$/GBP – 1.559
CHF/GBP – 1.671
CAN$/GBP – 1.665
AUS$/GBP – 1.795

To request a up-to-the minute quotation, call 0808 163 0102 or fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencyexchange.com/quote.aspx

Last week saw a jittery week on the currency markets. Sterling lost ground against a number of major currencies as investors looked to the safety of the US dollar as risk aversion once again drove trading. Whilst the UK made small steps towards ending emergency stimulus, we will see on Wednesday the true extent of the Bank of England’s thoughts when the minutes of their meeting are released. The BoE is expected to ‘wait and see’ whether further injections of capital are required. Whilst sterling had gained over recent weeks following positive consumer data, sterling is now suffering over global concerns over sovereign debt with Greece, Spain and Portugal driving risk aversion. There is little data out today in the UK aside from some retail sales data for January, but with sterling lower against the euro and US dollar now may be the time to move currency back into sterling.

In the Euro zone, following little real action at the G7 summit – especially with regard to any definitive action over Greece, Spain and Portugal’s debt, which many investors had expected, the premium for government debt in those countries jumped. As a result, the euro slumped against US dollar as investors headed for safety. From a data perspective, there is little out until later in the week, so prices will be driven by sentiment until preliminary GDP data is released. With ever deteriorating sentiment, now is as important a time as ever to look at your pending transfer as we could see serious movement either way in the coming weeks.

In the US, with markets closed today for the President’s Day holiday the main focus shifts to later in the week when a Treasury bond issue will give a clue as to risk sentiment globally following a poor run for equity markets recently. Following Friday’s better than expected US unemployment data and some volatile trading, the US dollar is on a relative high heading into the new week. Now may well be a good time to buy US dollars as against sterling the currency could well continue to strengthen in the coming weeks.

Call today to avoid losing out.Call 0808 163 0102 or +44 (0) 207 898 0541 from outside the UKor fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencyexchange.com/quote.aspx

Posted February 5th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Currency Rates

EURO/GBP – 1.147
US$/GBP – 1.570
CHF/GBP – 1.686
CAN$/GBP – 1.687
AUS$/GBP – 1.817

To request a up-to-the minute quotation, call 0808 163 0102 or fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencyexchange.com/quote.aspx

The Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee kept interest rates on hold at 0.5% and decided to pause the level of emergency funding at £200bn. The Bank has reserved the right to add more money into the economy if the economic situation requires it. Sterling strengthened marginally against the euro which suggests the market was concerned that the bank might add more money into the economy. It is likely that the decision was close – we shall see how close when the minutes are released later in the month. Today in the UK we have Producer Price Index data for January which is expected to show little change. The main focus today is US unemployment data – speculation as to the figures have already caused a spike in volatility overnight, especially with sterling against the US dollar. Call in today if you have pending transfers, as sterling is losing ground against the US dollar rapidly.

In the Euro zone, the ECB kept rates on hold and made no promises as to a concrete timeline for withdrawal of monetary stimulus going forward. President Trichet made it clear that he felt Greece’s plans to sort their deficit would work – however the market didn’t share his optimism. Premiums for the debt of Spain, Portugal and Greece soared and the largest union in Greece approved a second mass strike – hardly likely to help boost the economy. If you are moving euros back into sterling, the outlook suggests that sterling is likely to strengthen against euro. Speak to a trader today to avoid losing out.

Overnight, the US dollar has surged against major currencies as investors poured back into the currency as risk aversion reappeared. This was triggered when Asian stock exchanges plunged following a sell off. The sell off was prompted by concerns that today’s Non Farm Payroll data will disappoint and raise concerns over the true strength of the US recovery. Perversely, we are in a situation where the US dollar seems to strengthen on positive news (as it becomes an attractive asset) and on negative news (as the US dollar is a ‘safe’ asset) – either way if you have payments to make in US dollars, sterling seems to continue to weaken. Speak to a trader today to avoid missing out.

In Australia, data showed that construction in the country expanded at the fastest pace for 2 years. However, the market discounted this as being caused by the stimulus over the last 18 months. The Australian central bank also raised its outlook for interest rates.

Call 0808 163 0102 or +44 (0) 207 898 0541 from outside the UKor fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencyexchange.com/quote.aspx

Posted February 4th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Currency Rates

EURO/GBP – 1.145
US$/GBPS – 1.586
CHF/GBP – 1.684
CAN$/GBP – 1.685
AUS$/GBP – 1.802

To request a up-to-the minute quotation, call 0808 163 0102 or fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencyexchange.com/quote.aspx

All eyes shift to the Bank of England today as the Monetary Policy Committee meets today for this month’s interest rate decision. When the MPC met in November and expanded the bailout funding by £25bn it made clear that it would wait until that ran out before assessing the next steps. Today is decision time – does the MPC expand funding, put it in hold or put an end to it? Conditions have improved with inflation at 2.9% over the last year, GDP at 0.1% in the last quarter and consumer lending conditions improving. It will remain to be seen which path the Bank chooses (many expect the funding to be put on hold) but regardless, there is likely to be some sterling volatility as a result give us a call to make sure you don’t get caught out.

In the Euro zone, the European Central Bank meets for their interest rate decision. They are expected to keep their heads in the sand, as contrasting data in the Euro zone negates the need for any shift in monetary policy. The press conference afterwards is likely to cause some movement, as Bank President Trichet will be grilled over the effect of Greece’s deficit on the region.

In the US, the dollar strengthened against the euro to the highest level since July as concerns over European countries and their ability to cut their deficits caused increased demand for the US dollar. Yesterday’s employment data came in better than expected, but the key figures are out tomorrow in the form of the Non Farm Payrolls. To erase doubts over the GDP figures which showed growth (with no jobs) the US economy needs the labour market to follow suit – if the data is better than expected tomorrow you may well see the US dollar continue to push towards the US$1.50/£1 level as the currency becomes a more attractive proposition than sterling.

Elsewhere, New Zealand unemployment jumped unexpectedly in the fourth quarter and Australian retail sales dropped in December. This does not bode well for the Australian dollar as following interest rate hikes and the removal of stimulus, the economy seems to be faltering. This could mark a turnaround for sterling against the Australian dollar so let us help time your entry into the market – speak to a trader today.

Posted February 3rd, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Currency Rates

EURO/GBP – 1.143
US$/GBP – 1.601
CHF/GBP – 1.683
CAN$/GBP – 1.691
AUS$/GBP – 1.800
ZAR/GBP – 11.981
JPY/GBP – 144.81
HKD/GBP – 12.438

To request a up-to-the minute quotation, call 0808 163 0102 or fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencybusiness.com/quote1.htm

Consumer confidence in the UK came in above expectations yesterday and construction activity improved however the data failed to deliver a significant turnaround on previous figures. The UK Purchasing Managers Index for services is released today which is expected to remain broadly the same. Aside from this data sterling is keeping a low profile ahead of the Bank of England meeting tomorrow, as investors wait to see what happens – as a result any sterling movement has been passive and a result of general movement according to risk sentiment. The lack of volatility is a sure sign that many traders are very unsure as to the outcome of tomorrows meeting – let us help navigate minimise your risk- speak to a trader now.

In the Euro zone, German retail sales for December grew by 0.8% in line with expectations and inflation data for the Euro zone came in with a reading of -2.9% which further dampened prospects for a interest rate rise in the short to medium term. In addition, the President of the Bundesbank Axel Weber painted a discouraging picture of the region’s largest economy stating that the outlook for the German labour market was poor and that the country would rely increasingly on exports which have been suffering. This points to another potential issue in the Euro zone which will be monitored closely over the next few months. Today sees retail sales data released for the Euro zone region. If you need to move euros into sterling, the outlook for the region is poor and could cause movements against you.

In the USA, pending home sales showed a 1.0% improvement which pointed towards a tentative recovery in the housing market. Today’s ISM report (which shows business activity) is expected to show gains and point to a recovery that is gathering momentum. In addition the ADP employment report is expected to show that the number of jobs being shed is falling – but the key data is the Non Farm Payrolls which is out on Friday and is likely to have a market moving effect. Now might be a good time to buy dollars as the US recovery gathers pace.

In Australia, the trade deficit widened as imports exceeded exports by 1.8%. Commodity prices in the region have hit fresh highs which has driven the increase in imports.

To request a up-to-the minute quotation, call 0808 163 0102 (or +44 (0) 845 638 0571 from outside the UK) or fill out our quote form: http://www.smartcurrencybusiness.com/quote1.htm

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