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Posted March 17th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Currency Rates

EURO/GBP – 1.105
US$/GBP – 1.522
CHF/GBP – 1.604
CAN$/GBP – 1.542
AUS$/GBP – 1.653

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 climbed 1% against the US dollar and 0.3% against the euro following stronger than expected housing data and opinion polls showed a Conservative majority. The DCLG House Price Index (which measures the yearly change in the selling price of houses) was expected to show a 3.6% rise but in fact showed a 6.2% rise. Initially yesterday there were reports that the European Commission would recommend that the UK needed to do more to tackle the ballooning deficit. This saw early weakness from the pound but following the strong housing data and fresh opinion polls that showed a Conservative majority, sentiment towards sterling improved and the pound finished the day higher. Out today we have the minutes of the Bank of England’s March meeting and Unemployment claimant count. This is expected to show that all members voted to keep rates on hold. Any sign that the Bank will increase the emergency funding could see sterling fall further. In addition, eyes will turn to UK public spending data which is out on Thursday. Get in touch now to take advantage of the relative short term strength of the pound and avoid missing out.

In the Euro zone, German ZEW economic sentiment was better than expected and French month on month inflation showed an increase of 0.6% – beating expectations. However, ZEW economic sentiment for the Euro zone as a whole came in worse than expected. This reflects the concerns that Greece has caused and that the region is still fragile as a result. The euro fell 0.3% as a result and reached a low of 1.1053/ £1 on the day. There is little data out today on the European front. Get in touch today to avoid missing out, as the pound could drop even further again against the euro.

In the USA, the US dollar traded lower against major currencies as the FOMC kept interest rates “exceptionally low” for “an extended period”. This has been the rhetoric for some time now, and many investors expect the Fed to shift to a more upbeat outlook as soon as April and look to raise interest rates. However, yesterday saw the interest rates kept on hold. Out today, we have month on month inflation data, which is expected to fall slightly. In addition, Ben Bernanke testifies before the House Financial Services Committee. The volatility between sterling and US dollar is relatively high at the moment – get in touch to take advantage of marginally better rates.

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Posted March 16th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Currency Rates

EURO/GBP – 1.100
US$/GBP – 1.505
CHF/GBP – 1.596
CAN$/GBP – 1.532
AUS$/GBP – 1.644

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 yet another poor Monday against the US dollar as further opinion polls published over the weekend showed a narrowing Conservative lead in the run up to the election – now widely expected to be May 6th. The pound dropped nearly 1% against the US dollar as house price data showed the smallest rate of house price growth for 13 months. Sterling gained initially yesterday as credit rating agency Moody’s maintained the UK’s AAA credit rating on Friday despite a budget deficit that is forecast to hit £178bn – more than 12% of GDP. Comments from Kate Barker (a member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee) also hurt the pound as she predicted the UK economy would contract in the 1st Quarter of 2010. The main news this week is tomorrow’s minutes from the last meeting of the Bank of England. Traders will be looking to the minutes for any clues that the Bank will increase the emergency funding of the UK economy. Today we have some house price data out which is expected to show an increase in prices. Political concerns are weighing heavily on the pound and there is still potential for the pound to drop further – get in touch now to avoid adverse movements against you.

In the Euro zone, European Finance Ministers gathered in Brussels to discuss a proposed framework to help Greece finance its debts if needed. There was speculation over the weekend that there would be a concrete announcement yesterday, but this was quickly downplayed by many of the attending ministers which kept pressure on the euro especially against the US dollar. Elsewhere, Quarter on Quarter employment fell by 0.2% in the region – a slight improvement on last Quarter, which was largely expected by the market. Today we have German and Euro zone consumer sentiment which is expected to show a drop on last month following concerns over Greece. Get in touch now for a quote, as despite the relative lack of movement recently against sterling, we could see volatility at any point.

In the USA, data out yesterday showed that net foreign purchases of long term US securities (e.g. US Government bonds) increased at a far slower pace in January. This is indicative of an increase in global risk appetite, yet still shows that there was a net demand for US based investments and as such shows the reason why sterling has fallen by nearly 10% against the US dollar since the New Year. The key data out today is the FOMC interest rate decision and associated statement. There is no expectation of a change to rates, but the rhetoric in the statement is expected to be positive. Get in touch now to avoid the market moving against you.

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Posted March 15th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Currency Rates

EURO/GBP – 1.104
US$/GBP – 1.52
CHF/GBP – 1.607
CAN$/GBP – 1.546
AUS$/GBP – 1.659

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 positive end to the week rising 0.3% against the US dollar on Friday following an opinion poll that suggested the Conservatives would win an outright majority in an election. Sterling pushed through $1.52/ £1 but traded in a very tight range against the euro. However, in early trading this morning the US dollar has been boosted by demand for safe-haven assets after China’s Prime Minister said that the country may experience a ‘double dip’ later this year. A house price survey by Rightmove showed that prices grew by 5.3% in the year to March following a 6.1% increase in February – the first slowdown of the rate of growth in 13 months. This was attributed to an increase in supply as more people sold their property. The credit rating Moody’s stated that, despite ‘stretched finances’, the UK’s AAA credit rating is likely to remain intact for the time being. The UK economic calendar is fairly light today – get in touch now for a price to avoid buying at a poor rate.

In the Euro zone, today marks the monthly meeting of the EU’s finance ministers in Brussels and a Greek bailout is top of the agenda despite French and German doubts that a deal can be reached. Guardian sources claimed that up to 25bn would be made available at today’s meeting in the form of loan guarantees and bilateral loans. The EU have commended Greece on the recent ‘Austerity Plan’ which included public sector pay freezes and tax cuts. Aside from that, there is Euro zone employment data, but this data has already been released throughout January so is unlikely to be a major talking point. Call in now for a quote, as we could see considerable movement if there is any kind of bailout announcement.

In the USA, the financial markets will focus on the US FOMC meeting on Tuesday which is expected to keep interest rates unchanged at a 0-0.25% range and reiterate that rates will remain low for ‘an extended period’. Industrial production data out today is expected to show a gradual improvement and further demonstrate that the recovery is taking hold. There is still a considerable risk that the US dollar will continue to strengthen against sterling. Get in touch today to avoid missing out.

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Posted March 12th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Currency Rates

EURO/GBP – 1.102
US$/GBP – 1.512
CHF/GBP – 1.608
CAN$/GBP – 1.548
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 rose yesterday following a slight upturn in inflation expectations, but negative sentiment over the economic and political situation in the UK still remains. Despite Thursday’s modest upswing, which saw the pound hit a high of $1.5065/ £1 and 1.1035/ £1, many analysts expect sterling to remain under pressure in the run up to an election. The markets are still looking for a clear plan to clear the UK deficit and Gordon Brown’s comments yesterday did not help. The Prime Minister felt that the UK economy was still too fragile to start cutting spending. With a budget deficit at nearly 12% of GDP, this did not go down well with the markets. There is very little other UK data on the horizon until next week, so expect negative sentiment to prevail – especially if we see further detrimental opinion polls in the Sunday newspapers over the weekend. It would seem advisable to take advantage now if you have payments due soon, as sterling is expected to fall further in the short term.

In the Euro zone, French Non-Farm Payrolls declined less than initially thought. The euro traded in a fairly narrow range as the European Central Bank maintained a cautious approach to monetary policy in its monthly report – stating that it would maintain liquidity to support the banking system whilst pulling back the emergency stimulus measures. Out today there is industrial production data for the euro zone which is expected to show an increase in output, although it will remain to be seen whether this can continue to grow with government liquidity being scaled back. The euro has had a relatively quiet week with Greece seemingly taking a back seat. However, this can easily resurface as an issue – get in touch now to avoid any volatility impacting your payments.

In the USA, the credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s gave the US dollar a vote of confidence yesterday stating that it would continue to be the international reserve currency as long as markets remain stable and US government spending is efficient and sustainable. The key data out today, after a fairly light week on the economic calendar, is US retail sales. After severe weather conditions across most of the country, sales are expected to drop marginally. If this is much worse or better than expected, we could see some volatility. Get in touch now to take advantage of the rates and avoid missing out. Have a great 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 11th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Currency Rates

EURO/GBP – 1.097
US$/GBP – 1.497
CHF/GBP – 1.603
CAN$/GBP – 1.537
AUS$/GBP – 1.635

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 to 1 week lows against the euro and US dollar as investors reacted to the gloomy outlook in the UK. Sterling hit $1.4873/ £1 and 1.0966/ £1 as Tuesday’s political opinion polls and a fresh round of poor economic data continued to weigh on the pound. British manufacturing output unexpectedly showed a decline of 0.9% – the largest monthly drop since August last year, and clashing with the market’s expectations of a rise. Relatively positive comments from a member of the Bank of England offered sterling some support, but Ian Stallard (a senior FX analyst from investment bank BNP Paribas) stated today that the short term outlook for the pound remains negative. He expects the pound to extend losses towards $1.44/ £1 in the next few weeks. We wait to see if he is right. It is a relatively quiet day for economic data today, with some consumer inflation expectation data out. Despite this, the pound is likely to remain volatile – get in touch now to avoid missing out.

In the Euro zone, French and Italian industrial production outperformed expectations and showed expansion of 1.6% and 2.6% respectively. In addition, German inflation data was revised upwards to show prices had risen by 0.4% last month in the region. This data helped the euro strengthen by 0.3% against sterling. Greece is still an issue, and over the next few weeks they must make some rather large debt repayments – any problems will give markets the jitters again, but for now this is on the back burner. Today, we have French unemployment data and a monthly bulletin from the European Central Bank. Get in touch now to take advantage of current prices and avoid losing out further.

In the USA, there was little data out yesterday and the US dollar strengthened against sterling off the back of a poor UK performance. It was a rather mixed day from an analysis perspective. Citibank suggested that from a technical perspective (looking at trends on graphs) the dollar is poised to fall back down to $1.57/ £1 but as mentioned above, BNP Paribas (taking a more fundamental view of economic data) feel it is likely to go the other way. This goes to show how important it is to be in touch with a currency strategist at an early stage, as things really can go either way at the moment. Out today we have the US trade balance and unemployment data – call in now for a quote.

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Posted March 10th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Currency Rates

EURO/GBP – 1.099
US$/GBP – 1.492
CHF/GBP – 1.607
CAN$/GBP – 1.533
AUS$/GBP – 1.629

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 dropped back below $1.50/ £1 again yesterday after a barrage of poor economic data and as credit rating firms issued warnings on the UK’s sovereign credit rating. In addition, fears of a hung parliament continued to weaken the pound as a Times opinion poll showed the Conservatives neck and neck with Labour. First off, sterling was hit as the latest RICS house price survey showed the biggest drop since April 2008. This was followed later by data showing the UK’s trade deficit had widened to the largest level since August 2008 as exports fell. This is particularly concerning as the Bank of England and many economists seem to have pinned hopes of a UK recovery on the fact that a weak pound should drive exports. However, demand for UK goods and services has clearly not been enough to narrow the trade deficit and this may be a driving factor behind potentially more asset purchasing and emergency funding by the Bank of England. Later this morning, we have manufacturing and industrial production data as well as a first estimate of UK GDP for February. We could see considerable movement yet again – get in touch now to avoid losing out.

In the Euro zone, German exports slumped unexpectedly in January ending a 4 month run of gains. The German trade surplus fell by 5.4bn and with many pinning Germany’s hopes of recovery on exports, the sudden drop saw the euro fall against the US dollar hitting $1.355/ 1 yesterday morning. Out today we have French and Italian industrial production data which is expected to show a slight improvement. Call now for a quote.

In the USA, the US dollar continues to strengthen against sterling, and with little US data out yesterday and today the US dollar is taking a back seat and taking the lead from other currencies. With the rate back down below $1.50/ £1 it is a great time to fix the price if you have dollars coming in over the next few months and want to lock in the amount you will receive. Call in today to discuss forward contracts.

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 9th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Currency Rates

EURO/GBP – 1.101
US$/GBP – 1.497
CHF/GBP – 1.611
CAN$/GBP – 1.540
AUS$/GBP – 1.648

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 gaining against the US dollar and euro over the weekend due to increased risk appetite, sterling slipped throughout Monday as risk appetite waned due to uncertainty over the UK’s political future in the run up to an election. Sterling fell 0.3% against the euro and dropped from an earlier high of $1.5197/ £1 to trade at $1.5070/ £1 as the market closed. Latest polls from the weekend showed a reversal in the Conservatives favour, but there is a likelihood that it will be a closely fought election and the prospect of a hung parliament is still a cause for concern. Last week the Bank of England kept interest rates on hold and did not expand the asset purchasing facility, but there is still a possibility that this will still happen. Until there is a definitive end to the Bank of England’s liquidity programme, sterling is likely to remain low against most currencies with a likelihood it will drop further. Yesterday saw no major data released and today follows suit as a relatively light day on the economic calendar aside from the latest house price survey. With a brief movement higher yesterday morning, this demonstrates why it is important to be registered early – so we can help you take advantage of positive movements. Get in touch now to avoid missing out on similar positive movement.

In the Euro zone, concerns over Greece eased which helped the euro to strengthen against sterling. Investor confidence improved in the region and German industrial production figures moved back into positive territory with a month on month rise of 0.6%. In addition, news was released that Germany and France were looking at launching a European Monetary Fund to prevent further instability being caused by a single member state, such as the situation with Greece. French President Nicolas Sarkozy also pledged French support to Greece. Out today we have very little data aside from data on the French trade balance which is unlikely to cause too much movement. Regardless, get in touch for a price as there is always scope for considerable volatility.

In the USA, the US dollar dropped against most currencies falling 0.3% against the euro and 0.4% against the Swiss franc as risk appetite drove investors from the safe haven of the US dollar. The US dollar strengthened against sterling after opinion polls brought the issue of a hung parliament back to the fore. The Governor of the People’s Bank of China stated yesterday that China’s exit from stimulus measures should sooner or later put an end to the de-facto currency peg that currently exists between the renminbi and the US dollar. This could see volatility in the coming months. Today we have a minor measure of consumer confidence out. Call in now for a quote.

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 8th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Currency Rates

EURO/GBP – 1.110
US$/GBP – 1.518
CHF/GBP – 1.624
CAN$/GBP – 1.558
AUS$/GBP – 1.663

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 benefited at the end of last week as US employment fell less than anticipated despite severe weather conditions in a lot of the country. Many investors hopeful of a return to positive jobs growth next month. This better than expected data drove risk appetite and this morning the FTSE 100 is trading above the 5,600 level for the first time since the beginning of September 2008 as investors feel the global recovery is gathering pace. Demand for UK shares could see sterling strengthen as the relatively weak pound encourages investors to buy. There is a relatively quiet start to the week – no key data is released today aside from some retail sales figures, and one of the members of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee speaks today at 13:00. Despite positive sentiment this morning, the Bank of England has an ability to bring a negative slant which could cause volatility. Call in now to take advantage of sterling’s relative strength.

In the Euro zone, strong demand last week for Greek bonds has put fears of a funding crisis on hold for the moment. Markets will continue to watch the situation closely, but this issue seems to have taken a back seat. The euro has a similarly quiet start to the week, however German industrial production figures are due and are expected to show a positive improvement for January. We saw a large amount of volatility last week and we could see the euro rebound the other way. Get in touch now – especially if you have euros to move back into sterling, as this could be the best price we see for a while.

In the USA, Friday’s better than expected Non-Farm Payroll employment data has boosted risk appetite. Despite the negative situation in the UK, many analysts feel that sterling was oversold last week on panic selling. As a result, with the positive sentiment that we are seeing at the start of the week, we could see sterling recover. There is no data out today aside from a member of the Fed speaking later this evening. If you have US dollars to move into sterling at any point, get in touch now as we are able to fix the price for up to a year to ensure you do not miss out on these advantageous prices.

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 5th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Currency Rates

EURO/GBP – 1.105
US$/GBP – 1.503
CHF/GBP – 1.617
CAN$/GBP – 1.552
AUS$/GBP – 1.666

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 kept interest rates on hold at 0.5% and kept emergency funding on hold by voting not to expand their liquidity programme. After a rollercoaster week for sterling which has seen a swing of 7 cents against the US dollar, the market reaction to the decision was muted. At the start of the week, sterling suffered considerably on concerns that the upcoming election would see the first hung parliament in over 30 years. Investors sold sterling heavily on Monday as a hung parliament would lack the requisite majority to put through the tough legislation needed to clear the deficit and get the UK back on track. However, Wednesday saw UK service sector activity at the highest level for 3 years and consumer confidence at the highest level in over 2 years. This helped bring sterling back above $1.50/ £1 and 1.10/ £1 and whilst yesterday saw marginal improvement against both the euro and US dollar, house price data published yesterday showed that prices dropped by 1.5% in February. This prevented the pound from pushing much higher. This week has shown the importance of being in touch with a currency specialist sooner rather than later, as the volatility experienced by many who have held out has severely impacted their purchases. Today, we have inflation data for the month and US unemployment data – both of which have the potential to cause significant movement. Get in touch now to make sure you don’t lose out.

In the Euro zone, the European Central Bank also kept rates on hold as expected. The Bank are preparing to outline the next steps in unwinding emergency measures, but have had to push back potential rate rises after lacklustre economic data and concerns over sovereign debt in the region. Revised fourth quarter GDP growth was unchanged at 0.1% demonstrating the fragility of the recovery. Greece saw high demand for a fresh round of bonds, which suggests that the markets are feeling slightly happier with the country. Out today we have data on German factory orders which is expected to show an improvement on last month. This is a great time to move euros into sterling – get in touch now to take advantage of the rates.

In the USA, the US dollar fell marginally against the euro and sterling following the rate decisions in the UK and Europe. Pending home sales fell, but this is easily attributable to poor weather and seasonal factors. Unemployment claims fell marginally, but the focus is now on today’s Non-Farm Payroll data. This is expected to show unemployment rose 0.1% to 9.8% from last month. We have had a taste this week of what negative sentiment can do to the pound. If you have US dollar payments to make in the next few months, there is still an expectation that sterling will drop to the mid $1.45/ £1 range. Get in touch now to fix a rate and avoid losing out. Have a great 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 4th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Currency Rates

EURO/GBP – 1.101
US$/GBP – 1.505
CHF/GBP – 1.612
CAN$/GBP – 1.552
AUS$/GBP – 1.671

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

Stronger than expected UK economic data saw sterling strengthen over 0.7% against the US dollar yesterday afternoon. A survey of purchasing managers showed that the UK’s services sector expanded at the highest rate for more than 3 years in February. In addition, a survey showed British consumer confidence at the highest level for 2 years. Many traders who had placed bets against the pound had to buy sterling back in order to cover losses which in turn helped to boost the pound back over $1.50/ £1. If positive data is reflected in first quarter GDP figures this may be enough for the Bank of England to put an end to their liquidity programme. The BoE meets today for the monthly interest rate decision. Whilst the rates are not expected to be raised from current record lows, the markets will wait to see whether any further money will be pumped into the economy. Last week saw several key members of the Committee allude to potentially pumping more funding into the economy if needed. Either way, there is likely to be some volatility. As always, get in touch sooner rather than later so that we can help take advantage if the rate moves in your favour.

In the Euro zone, the euro strengthened against the US dollar and sterling as the Greek government released an ‘austerity plan’ to help cut the country’s deficit. The plan includes public sector pay freezes and tax hikes and equates to 2% of GDP. Analysts welcomed the move as a clear move to take action on the deficit and bond markets showed an improved outlook for Greek bonds. German retail sales came in better than expected. Today we have the European Central Bank interest rate statement. Rates are expected to stay on hold, but the unscripted press conference can lead to volatility. When combined with the other key data out today, now is the time to call to avoid losing out.

In the USA, the ADP employment change showed 40,000 fewer jobs were shed in the US economy and in addition a purchasing managers survey showed manufacturing activity was improving. The US dollar fell marginally as traders wait for tomorrow’s Non-Farm Payroll data. This traditionally causes large market volatility. With the UK and European interest rate decisions out tomorrow, there is likely to be considerable movement. Get in touch now to avoid buying at a poor rate.

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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