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Posted March 31st, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Currency Rates

EURO/GBP – 1.123
US$/GBP – 1.509
CHF/GBP – 1.608
CAN$/GBP – 1.535
AUS$/GBP – 1.649

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 strengthened yesterday after strong economic data saw demand for the pound surge. Sterling jumped over 1% against the euro to 1.1255/ £1 and hit a 1 ½ week high of $1.5125/ £1 against US dollar. The movement was spurred by the final 4th Quarter UK GDP figure which was revised upwards from 0.3% to 0.4%. In addition, the latest house prices survey showed that prices rose 0.7% month on month – more than the 0.2% rise that was initially expected. Data for the current account was also better than forecast, with the figures showing a deficit of £1.7bn as opposed to £4.6bn which was expected. This figure shows that whilst the UK is still a net importer, the weaker pound has encouraged exports as UK goods become relatively cheaper for foreign buyers. To put this into perspective, this deficit was at £11.4bn in September 2009, so it is clear the effect that the weak pound has had. Whilst the figures include reduced demand for overseas goods/ services, the data bodes well for the UK economy. In addition, another opinion poll suggested that the Conservatives had extended their lead heading into the election, helping to ease fears of a hung parliament. There is very little data out for the UK today – get in touch now to take advantage of relatively stronger prices.

In the Euro zone, the euro initially strengthened against the US dollar as German import prices showed a rise. However, despite last week’s bailout, the single currency fell against both sterling and US dollar as bond markets took a negative stance and chose to focus on the fragile fiscal situation in the region. The yield on Greek bonds (higher yield = more negative outlook for the economy) jumped by 0.3%. This compounded the euro’s drop against sterling following the UK GDP figures. Today we have unemployment data for the region. Get in touch now to avoid volatility from impacting your payments.

In the USA, US consumer confidence jumped to 52.5 from 46.4 in February which beat expectations, however the economists that conducted the survey cautioned against reading too much into the figures, as the comparison month was particularly poor. Out today, there is unemployment data for the US which is expected to show that the labour market expanded by 40,000 for the month. Call in now to avoid the market moving against you.

Many clients have been enquiring about our opening hours over Easter. They are as follows:

Thursday 1st April: Open 08:00 – 18:00
Friday 2nd – Monday 5th April: Closed
Tuesday 6th April: Open 08:00 – 18:00

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Posted March 30th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Currency Rates

EURO/GBP – 1.115
US$/GBP – 1.505
CHF/GBP – 1.598
CAN$/GBP – 1.534
AUS$/GBP – 1.637

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 rose slightly versus the US dollar on weaker demand for dollars as investors returned to riskier assets following the agreement last week to bail out Greece. UK Consumer credit was also relatively strong but mortgage applications dropped following poor weather and the end to the stamp duty holiday at the end of last year. The Budget last week should see an increase in mortgage applications as the stamp duty threshold is raised for first time buyers. In addition, the credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s reaffirmed the UK’s AAA rating for the time being, but kept the outlook as negative. Out today, we have the final GDP figure for the 4th Quarter of last year. The figure is expected to remain at 0.3%. House price data has showed a marginal improvement this morning with prices up 0.7% month on month. Whilst this has seen the pound strengthen slightly, sterling is likely to remain under considerable pressure in the run up to the election. Get in touch now for a price.

In the Euro zone, the euro strengthened against the US dollar following last week’s decision to support Greece. Similarly this morning, the euro has briefly moved above the $1.35/ 1 mark as relative confidence returns to the single currency. Out today, Germany’s import prices are expected to improve by around 0.4% from February. Aside from that there is very little else out in Europe of note – call in now for a live price and avoid the market moving against you.

In the USA, personal spending and personal income declined marginally and a monthly inflation measure saw prices unchanged. This added to the US dollars drop. Out today there is key data on consumer confidence which is expected to show a marginal improvement. Despite being a little less volatile in the last few days, the US dollar can still very quickly strengthen following poor economic data in the UK. Get in touch today and take advantage of relatively good prices for buying US dollars.

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 March 29th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Currency Rates

EURO/GBP – 1.111
US$/GBP – 1.501
CHF/GBP – 1.591
CAN$/GBP – 1.534
AUS$/GBP – 1.642

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 finished the week broadly lower against the euro as a European Union agreement to help Greece strengthened the single currency on Friday. Following several weeks of uncertainty over the crisis, sterling strengthened against the US dollar marginally as investors sold US holdings to put their funds into relatively ‘riskier’ assets. The pound has started the day above 1.11/ £1 and $1.50/ £1. There is relatively little on the economic calendar today for the UK, with the main focus on lending figures. Mortgage approvals are expected to drop slightly for February, impacted by poor weather and the removal of Stamp Duty relief in December 2009. There is expected to be an improvement in the coming months, as the Stamp Duty threshold is increased for first time buyers. Call in now for a live price and to avoid the markets moving against you.

In the Euro zone, the agreement to support Greece helped the euro come off 10 month lows against the US dollar as sentiment improved towards the single currency. The euro jumped over 1% to hit $1.3490/ £1 in early Monday trading although some analysts warned of further downward movement as although a framework has been agreed to help Greece, the problems have not yet been solved and the euro could drop further still. Out today, CPI inflation data for Germany is expected to show a rise however confidence data for the Euro zone is expected to show a drop to reflect the recent concerns over Greece. Get in touch now or a price.

In the USA, with healthcare reform out the way, US lawmakers will go into the Easter break contemplating the next major issue – the Chinese renminbi. The currency’s exchange rate is pegged (fixed as opposed to being open to free market movement). The fixed rate is well below the ‘fair value’ and as such artificially manipulates the price of Chinese goods to make them far cheaper than US domestic manufacturing. As a result, the fixed rate has been blamed for creating global imbalances and job cuts in the USA. This is likely to be a major issue of the coming months. Out today, there is data on personal spending and personal income. Call in now for a price.

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 March 26th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Currency Rates

EURO/GBP – 1.110
US$/GBP – 1.484
CHF/GBP – 1.587
CAN$/GBP – 1.523
AUS$/GBP – 1.638

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 hit a 1 month high against the euro yesterday morning as UK retail sales data for February jumped 2.1% on the month, considerably more than the 0.7% that was forecast. As a result, the pound jumped to 1.1263/ £1 but fell off later in the day as a large downward revision to January’s retail data came through, and sterling continued to suffer as concerns over the election remained and Wednesday’s Budget failed to deliver a coherent plan to pay down the £167bn deficit. The downward revision spelt caution for many as it shows that the UK recovery is still fragile. A new opinion poll out yesterday showed that the Conservatives lacked the required support in key marginal seats. With most opinion polls pointing to a hung parliament, the pound is likely to remain under considerable pressure in the next few weeks. To end the week, it is a fairly quiet day today with revised data for Quarterly business investment. This is expected to show a marginal improvement. Get in touch now for a price.

In the Euro zone, the prospect of a Greek bail out moved a step closer today as EU leaders came to an agreement on the framework of a financial package. There has been some disagreement between France and Germany, but this had clearly been resolved as the European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet announced a package to be used as a last resort. In early trading this morning the euro has strengthened considerably against the pound. The Summit continues today, and there is likely to be further details released throughout the day on the package which could impact on the currency as news filters through. Get in touch now to avoid losing out on any positive movement.

In the USA, there is a lot of data out today including Quarter on Quarter GDP which is expected to be revised upwards to 6% growth. In addition there is price inflation data which is expected to show a marginal improvement. The US dollar is very volatile against sterling and this is likely to continue in the run up to the election. Call in now for a price, as there are a variety of options available to ensure the markets do not move against you. Have a fantastic weekend!

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 March 25th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Currency Rates

EURO/GBP – 1.119
US$/GBP – 1.492
CHF/GBP – 1.598
CAN$/GBP – 1.524
AUS$/GBP – 1.637

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 very volatile day yesterday, hitting 1.1220/ £1 in early trading before dropping back towards 1.1150/ £1. Against the US dollar, sterling dropped from above $1.50/ £1 to hit a 2 week low of $1.4874/ £1. Despite jumping against the euro after Portugal’s credit rating was cut by the rating agency Fitch, the pound suffered against the US dollar as the last Budget before the general election did little to allay concerns over the UK’s budget deficit. Initial reaction from the City was negative as many felt that this was a ‘political’ budget rather than an ‘economic’ one – i.e. the focus was on vote winning rather than putting a clear plan in place to clear the deficit. It would be reasonable to expect that a prospective government would inform the public as to how they would spend their money on the key issue facing the economy – the £167bn gap in public finances. What angered many analysts was the fact that there was no mention of this, and as such, sentiment towards the UK stays very much as it was – negative. In addition, the Royal Bank of Canada released a list of countries ranked according to their risk of default on government debt. The UK was third behind Greece and Portugal. Today, we have monthly retail sales data which is expected to show an improvement on last month. Get in touch now for a price.

In the Euro zone, the credit rating agency Fitch downgraded the credit rating for Portugal which saw the euro drop to a 10 month low against the US dollar of $1.3358/ 1. In addition, confusion over a potential Greek bailout caused concerns for many investors, as Germany and France sent conflicting signals over their respective approaches. Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel was adamant that German finances should not be used and French Premier Nicolas Sarkozy stating that the EU should unite and show that it can solve its own problems. Despite this, data out yesterday was positive – business confidence increased and purchasing managers data also showed an improvement. Today we have spending data for France and German consumer confidence and ECB President Trichet speaks to the European Parliament. Call in today to avoid missing out.

In the USA, the US dollar strengthened on risk aversion as investors looked for safer haven assets following the news in the UK and Europe. Whilst new home sales data came in at 10,000 less than expected, monthly durable goods order data showed an improvement. Today, we have month on month unemployment claims which is expected to show a marginal drop and in addition, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies to the House Financial Services Committee in Washington DC.

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 March 24th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Currency Rates

EURO/GBP – 1.119
US$/GBP – 1.497
CHF/GBP – 1.598
CAN$/GBP – 1.526
AUS$/GBP – 1.636

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 fell yesterday after data yesterday morning showed that the rate of consumer price inflation fell. This reinforced expectations that inflation may have peaked for the time being and as a result the Bank of England is likely to keep monetary policy loose for some time to come. Last month, when inflation came in at 3.5%, many analysts expected to see an interest rate hike brought forward by the Bank. However, yesterday’s figure of 3.0% (which undershot expectations by 0.1%) reiterated Mervyn King’s comments that inflation would drop as the economy slowly recovered. In addition, two opinion polls out gave mixed messages with neither party gaining a clear majority but differing over which party would have the most votes. The big news today is the Budget. Markets will keep a very close eye on today’s announcement for any mention of deficit-cutting measures. Get in touch for a price, as there could be volatility following the lunchtime announcement.

In the Euro zone, an anonymous official in the German Finance Ministry was quoted by Bloomberg stating that France and Germany had struck a deal to include the IMF in a bailout of Greece. European leaders head to Brussels tomorrow for the summit. Anything less than a clear and decisive plan to help the country is likely to have negative implications for the euro and risk appetite globally. Out today, data from purchasing managers in the region and business sentiment has beaten expectations. Get in touch now for a price.

In the USA, existing home sales were broadly in line with expectations. Today, there is data on new home sales released which is expected to show an increase from last month which would be positive. The US dollar strengthened against the euro and sterling yesterday following poor data in the UK and concerns over Greece. The volatile trend is continuing – get in touch today for a price, as we could see considerable movement following the Budget.

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 March 23rd, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Currency Rates

EURO/GBP – 1.111
US$/GBP – 1.502
CHF/GBP – 1.594
CAN$/GBP – 1.530
AUS$/GBP – 1.640

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 started poorly yesterday against the euro and US dollar, but recovered ground as the euro lost out as concerns over Greece took centre stage. The pound was up 0.4% against the US dollar at $1.5089/ £1 and 0.3% up against the euro at 1.1140/ £1 at the end of the day. Governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King spoke yesterday and reiterated that, despite improving growth forecasts, levels of economic activity were likely to remain weak for a considerable period. Despite this, he did expect recent GDP figures to be amended upwards again. Inflation data for February is published today, which is expected to show a drop from January’s 14 month high of 3.5%. This is a key piece of data which can cause volatility if the figure is not expected. Get in touch now for a quote.

The euro came under pressure yesterday as European leaders sent mixed signals over a Greek bailout. Angela Merkel is still adamant that German public funds should not be used to support Greece and that aid should not be on the agenda at this week’s meeting of the European Commission. This comes despite the European President stating categorically that an agreement must be reached on financial assistance. Aside from this, there is little on the economic calendar today as the focus shifts to the UK for data. Get in touch now for a price to avoid losing out.

In the USA, the US dollar traded on risk sentiment yesterday with volatility still high against sterling. Existing home sales data is released later today and the number of homes sold is expected to drop further due to adverse weather and the expiry of tax benefits which caused a jump in sales at the end of last year. In addition, a member of the Federal Reserve speaks this afternoon. The USA has stayed out of the spotlight over the last few weeks as markets focus on the pound and euro – get in touch now as the chance of volatility is high.

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 March 22nd, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Currency Rates

EURO/GBP – 1.107
US$/GBP – 1.497
CHF/GBP – 1.587
CAN$/GBP – 1.522
AUS$/GBP – 1.643

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

Despite recovering against the US Dollar and euro throughout most of last week, sterling fell considerably this morning against the US dollar following concerns over the political and economic outlook for the UK in the run up to both the Budget on Wednesday and the election which must happen in the next couple of months. The pound fell back below the $1.50/ £1 as sentiment towards the pound remains very negative and concerns over the economy remain. Investors are also worried that the next government will not be able to effectively tackle the challenges facing the economy. It is a busy week on the economic calendar in the UK, with the Budget, inflation data and retail sales data. Today we see the Bank of England governor Mervyn King address the Royal Society in London. He is likely to reiterate that the UK still faces challenges – any mention of increasing the emergency funding in the economy will see sterling suffer. Get in touch now for a price, as this week is likely to be volatile.

In the Euro zone, European leaders are meeting later this week in Brussels to discuss how best to deal with the Greek debt crisis. In an interview published this morning, EC President Jose Manuel Barroso said that a decision on what to do must be made this week, as otherwise the stability of the euro zone will be threatened. As a result, the euro has fallen against the US dollar, but remained fairly stable against sterling as both currencies suffer in tandem. Today, the European Central Bank President Jean Claude Trichet speaks in Brussels. Get in touch now, as there could be a lot of movement this week as the Greek debt crisis takes centre stage alongside the UK budget.

In the USA, the dollar strengthened against the euro and US dollar despite Congress passing an ambitious $940bn health care bill that will subject US industries to new regulation and may worsen the country’s finances for many years to come. There is still a lot of confusion over Greek debt and what form a bailout will take. As a result, the US dollar is likely to benefit from risk aversion in the coming days as markets and investors head to the safety of the US dollar. Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner speaks today ahead of Friday’s final GDP data. Get in touch now for a price.

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 March 19th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Currency Rates

EURO/GBP – 1.114
US$/GBP – 1.513
CHF/GBP – 1.599
CAN$/GBP – 1.541
AUS$/GBP – 1.646

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 rose to a 3 week high against the euro breaching the 1.12/ £1 mark for the first time since the 26th February. Sterling fell marginally against the US dollar following Wednesday’s gains, but held firm above $1.52/ £1. Sterling’s strength was in the wake of data released yesterday morning that showed the UK’s public borrowing for February was £2bn less than expected. Despite the UK Government borrowing a February record of £12.361bn, this undershot market expectations of nearly £15bn and the markets now expect the Government to borrow less than was initially targeted in this financial year. This is good news for Chancellor Alastair Darling ahead of next Wednesday’s budget as it shows the UK is performing slightly better than the prevailing negative sentiment suggests. Whilst there is still a poor outlook for sterling over the next few months, some analysts feel that the pound has been ‘oversold’ – i.e. dropped more than it should have – and that many of the risks facing sterling are already reflected in the price. As a result, we could see the pound strengthen against the euro and US dollar – but bear in mind that there is a lot of risk still that the pound could drop over political concerns. Today, the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England speaks in Brussels – get in touch now for a price, as this could bring sterling down.

In the Euro zone, the euro dropped against both sterling and US dollar as data out yesterday showed that the European trade balance worsened far more than expected as the region imported more than it exported. This is bad for the euro as it shows directly that demand for the single currency has dropped, as foreign demand for European goods and services drops. Today, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet speaks in Brussels at a conference organised by the European Commission which could cause volatility. Get in touch now to avoid any adverse movements.

In the USA, one of the reasons behind the US dollar’s comeback against sterling was the rumours circulating yesterday that the Federal Reserve would raise the discount interest rate (the rate at which banks lend to each other). The Fed did this several weeks ago and prompted high levels of volatility. The Fed declined to comment on the rumour. Aside from this, inflation data showed no change in prices month on month and unemployment figures came in more or less as expected. There is little data out today, however if this weekend is anything like the last few, we are likely to see the latest opinion polls hit the Sunday papers and cause volatility. Get in touch now to take advantage. Have a fantastic weekend!

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 March 18th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Currency Rates

EURO/GBP – 1.116
US$/GBP – 1.526
CHF/GBP – 1.616
CAN$/GBP – 1.543
AUS$/GBP – 1.657

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 sterling rose to a 3 week high against the US dollar and euro as stronger than expected labour data and better than expected comments from the Bank of England reversed negative sentiment against the pound. Sterling hit a high of $1.5382/ £1 and 1.1165/ £1 after data out yesterday morning showed that the unemployment in the UK unexpectedly fell by 32,300 when expectations were for an increase of 8,000. This was the largest monthly fall in claimants since November 1997. In addition, minutes from this month’s meeting of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy committee showed a unanimous vote to keep interest rates and emergency funding on hold. Some members expressed concerns over inflation which helped the pound on its upward trend. Today we have public sector borrowing and money supply data, which last month caused considerable volatility. There is some expectation that the data will show that the UK is on track to undershoot the Chancellor’s expected target of £178bn, which could be positive. Regardless, it is the best time for 3 weeks to buy US dollars and euros. Get in touch to avoid a reversal impacting your payment.

In the Euro zone, yesterday was a relatively quiet day on the economic calendar with no significant releases. However, the market digested comments from Harvard professor Martin Feldstein who was scathing of the Greek government’s ‘austerity plan’ to fix the country’s deficit. He feels that the fiscal plan will fail and Greece will have to quit the single currency in order to sort out it’s finances. Out today, we have current account and trade balance data which are both expected to narrow marginally. Get in touch now for a price.

In the USA, wholesale prices fell more than anticipated led by a drop in fuel costs. This shows that there are few inflationary pressures in the economy as the US recovery gathers pace and is likely to mean that the Fed is able to keep interest rates on hold much longer than the market had initially expected. This helped push the US dollar lower against sterling. Today we have US unemployment figures, which are expected to show a marginal improvement. In addition there is also CPI inflation data and manufacturing figures out. Get in touch now for a price – especially if you are buying US dollars, as it is the best price we have seen for a while.

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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