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Posted May 28th, 2010 by Charles Purdy


EURO/GBP – 1.175
US$/GBP – 1.452
CHF/GBP – 1.674
CAN$/GBP – 1.526
AUS$/GBP – 1.702

Its all about risk at the moment and whether you are risk adverse or you have risk appetite. Last week was definitely a week where risk aversion was to the fore and the US$ given its safe haven status in the ascendancy. The second half of this week has seen risk appetite return. The result of this was that we have seen sterling appreciate even though the economic data has been less than supportive for sterling. Yesterday we had retail sales for May released which were below expectations and the poorest for a while. Bad weather was given as the reason but you are left to wonder if there is a different underlying problem. So even though we hit 1.18 interbank yesterday there is no conviction that sterling will keep on going or suddenly go into fast reverse. Volatility continues to high, movements somewhat random and when they happen quick and large so that is why it is so important to get in touch now.

The euro benefitted from both the Chinese and the South Koreans saying that they still viewed the euro as a key constituent in their foreign currency reserves. This was good news as the markets were worried about a change in tack. To be honest what choice do they have? The US$ may be viewed as a safe haven asset but when you have so many of them the last thing you probably want is more of them. So debt problems continue to loom large in the euro zone and these problems are not going to go away for quite a while.

The US$ continues to be the least ugly of the ugly sisters and somehow convincing the market it is a safe haven asset. We have seen sterling gain some ground on increased risk appetite pulling back to over US$1.45/£1 first thing this morning but the market is still believing that sterling will weaken further. And the US does seem to be ahead of the curve with economic data being broadly positive. So don’t miss out on short term buying opportunities and give us a call now.

With increased risk appetite we have seen the commodity backed currencies regain some of their losses of last week but given the change in sentiment in China and their intention to dampen growth and the UK government starting to attack costs, are we about to see a change in sentiment. As such I am watching the movement in currencies like the Australian $ closely and wondering if we will see a return to trend with it strengthening against sterling or have we actually seeing a reversal of the longer term trend.

Exchange rates change every second – call Smart Currency Exchange for a live up-to-the-minute quote on our Freephone number: 0808 163 0102 (+44 (0)207 898 0541 from outside the UK) or fill out our online quote form at: SmartCurrencyExchange.com/quote.aspx

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Posted May 27th, 2010 by Charles Purdy


EURO/GBP – 1.179
US$/GBP – 1.445
CHF/GBP – 1.670
CAN$/GBP – 1.528
AUS$/GBP – 1.734

Sterling had a strong day against the euro yesterday as investors sold the single currency on concerns that Europe’s debt problems were far worse than the UK. The pound rose 1% to hit a 2 week high of 1.1808/ £1 in afternoon trading. With the UK election out of the way, the debt risk in the UK still saw the pound suffer against the US dollar but the pound is a far superior option for investors than the single currency. Expectations for growth were boosted earlier in the week when 1st Quarter GDP showed an increase on the initial estimate but mortgage data released yesterday showed that the number of new mortgage approvals fell slightly on the month. Overall though, the number of mortgages approved rose 15.5% for the year and net lending increased by £1.825bn. Out today we have sales data for the UK which is expected to come in at around the same level as last month. Get in touch now for a live price to ensure you take advantage at the right time.

In the Euro zone, the single currency suffered from another round of poor sentiment as investors continued to sell the euro on concerns over sovereign debt. The single currency hovered very close to the 4 year low of $1.2143/ 1 after falling 1.5% against the US dollar. The drop was in part fuelled by the news that China is evaluating its euro bond holdings as it is increasingly worried about the deficit in certain European countries. If China does offload euro holdings, this would presumably be to buy US dollars and we could see the euro plummet further. The markets will be watching this very closely over the coming weeks and months. Get in touch now for a live exchange rate.

In the USA, fundamental data released yesterday was strong. Durable goods orders came in a lot higher than expected and new home sales jumped to 504,000 – far more than the 425,000 that was expected. The main data out today in the US is the second estimate of 1st Quarter GDP. The general consensus is for an upward revision to 3.5% from 3.2%, but this could be more, as consumer spending has been strong over the last few months. In addition, there is initial jobless claims data that is expected to show a drop in claimants to the lowest level since August 2008. However, it is worth noting that US ‘unemployment insurance’ runs out after several months, so a drop in claimants does not necessarily mean those people are back in work. Get in touch now for a live price to avoid missing out.

Elsewhere, the pound continues to be volatile against the Polish zloty. Get in touch now to discuss an Order to Buy and take advantage of price volatility. Against the Australian dollar, the pound continues to trade between $1.73 and $1.75/ £1 as news was released overnight that private capital expenditure fell down under. Sterling fell marginally against the NZ dollar and is currently trading at $2.1577/ £1. Call in now for a live price.

Exchange rates change every second – call Smart Currency Exchange for a live up-to-the-minute quote on our Freephone number: 0808 163 0102 (+44 (0)207 898 0541 from outside the UK) or fill out our online quote form at: SmartCurrencyExchange.com/quote.aspx

Posted May 26th, 2010 by Charles Purdy


EURO/GBP – 1.168
US$/GBP – 1.440
CHF/GBP – 1.664
CAN$/GBP – 1.537
AUS$/GBP – 1.733

Sterling fell by 1% yesterday against the US dollar as investors continued to suffer from risk aversion. At one point the pound hit $1.4250/ £1 but recovered slightly towards the end of the day. Sterling performed well against the euro, breaching 1.17/ £1 before falling off the day’s high. The reason for sterling’s fall against the US dollar was that stock markets plummeted yesterday as concerns mounted over the Spanish financial system. In addition, mounting tensions between North Korea and South Korea caused markets to panic as news came through that the North Korean military had been mobilised and ordered to attack if fired upon by the South. In terms of data, the UK’s 1st Quarter GDP was revised upwards to 0.3% which was as expected and had little effect on the markets. Out today we have mortgage approval data for the UK, which is unlikely to have a huge effect on sterling. Call in now for a price, as sentiment is the key driver of currencies at the moment and could see the price move either way.

In the Euro zone, the takeover of the CajaSur bank by the Spanish central bank has triggered a new wave of risk aversion. Many analysts in the region predict that there will be further bank rescues later in the year and this news pushed up intrabank lending costs and fuelled demand for the US dollar. The euro fell to 1.2230/ $1 – within a cent of last week’s 4 year low of 1.2143/ $1. So far today we have seen German consumer confidence data fall this month and French consumer spending fall by 1.2%. Get in touch now if you are holding euros and need to exchange them, as many analysts are forecasting further euro weakness especially against the US$.

In the USA, the US dollar continued to benefit from global risk aversion related to both European debt and potential conflict on the Korean peninsular. In terms of data, over the last few months US housing data has performed well after activity picked up following a very poor winter. New home sales data out today is expected to show an increase to 420,000 from 411,000 in April. In addition, durable goods data out later today is expected to show an increase. Call in now for a price – especially if you have US dollars to move into sterling as this seems like a great time to be doing this.

Elsewhere, sterling gained almost 2% against the Polish Zloty, as the currency suffered weakness related to the Euro zone. Also, data released in Australia overnight suggests that the Australian economy will expand at nearly 3 times its average growth rate after the annualised growth rate in the country jumped to 8.7% further boosting the case for more interest rate hikes to curb inflationary pressure. As a result, expect the Australian dollar to strengthen further against the pound. Get in touch now to plan a strategy for your payments.

Exchange rates change every second – call Smart Currency Exchange for a live up-to-the-minute quote on our Freephone number: 0808 163 0102 (+44 (0)207 898 0541 from outside the UK) or fill out our online quote form at: SmartCurrencyExchange.com/quote.aspx

Posted May 25th, 2010 by Charles Purdy


EURO/GBP – 1.167
US$/GBP – 1.428
CHF/GBP – 1.662
CAN$/GBP – 1.536
AUS$/GBP – 1.757

Sterling gained over 1% against the euro yesterday and fell against the US dollar. The pound hit a high of 1.1646/ £1 and fell to a daily low of $1.4353/ £1 before pulling back ground towards $1.4430/ £1. The strength against the euro was fuelled by further concerns in the euro zone as the Spanish central bank took over a savings bank to avoid it collapsing. There was little reaction from the markets as the new chancellor George Osborne outlined plans to cut £6.25bn worth of public spending – the bulk of which will be used to trim the UK’s record 11% deficit. Aside from the chancellor’s announcement there was little other data out for the UK. The markets are waiting for tomorrow’s revised GDP data for the 1st Quarter. An upward revision of 0.1% to 0.3% is expected. Movement either side of this figure could see significant volatility. Get in touch now to avoid missing out.

In the Euro zone, the single currency continued to suffer as concerns over the debt crisis continued to weigh on sentiment towards the region. The takeover of a savings bank by the Spanish central bank did not help things, and in a day where most European markets were closed due to public holidays, a lack of liquidity in the market saw the euro lose ground at a faster pace than usual. Out tomorrow we have Italian retail sales data for the month and monthly industrial orders. These figures are unlikely to impact the market. Look to sentiment to drive the price today and call in for a live exchange rate to ensure you achieve your budgeted rate.

In the USA, the US dollar performed well yet again against the euro and sterling. This was fuelled by both risk aversion over concerns in the Euro zone and strong data released during the day. Existing home sales data jumped more than expected, coming in at 5.77m against an expected 5.62m – up nearly 410,000 on the month. Out later today, there is consumer confidence data which has the potential to move the markets significantly. Get in touch now for a live exchange rate and to avoid missing out – especially ahead of the US GDP figures released later this week.

Exchange rates change every second – call Smart Currency Exchange for a live up-to-the-minute quote on our Freephone number: 0808 163 0102 (+44 (0)207 898 0541 from outside the UK) or fill out our online quote form at: SmartCurrencyExchange.com/quote.aspx

Posted May 24th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

EURO/GBP – 1.160
US$/GBP – 1.441
CHF/GBP – 1.667
CAN$/GBP – 1.527
AUS$/GBP – 1.739

Sterling recovered on Friday after a volatile week on the currency markets. With last week’s trading dominated by risk aversion related to Greece, the move by Angela Merkel to ban ‘naked short selling’ (selling assets that are not owned in order to profit from their fall in value) saw many investors rushing to buy back sterling and euro positions after having placed bets that they would fall. The pound has strengthened so far this morning and is currently up nearly 0.2% against the US dollar at $1.4480/ £1 and 1.16/ £1 (up 0.9%). On Friday we saw the budget deficit standing at £10bn for the month – the biggest ever shortfall for the month of April. This shows the scale of the task facing the new government, and even with the £6bn of cuts promised by the new chancellor, this is nowhere near enough. However, the cuts need to be finely balanced to ensure that they do not stifle growth – the reason why so many investors are negative about the pound. There is little data out today aside from some house price data. Get in touch now for a live exchange rate, as with the lack of news we could see sterling creep back up before the next piece of poor data.

In the Euro zone on Friday, Germany ratified its 148bn portion of the new rescue programme which helped ease concerns that this wouldn’t happen. However, there are concerns that the difficulties are now translating into troubles for the real economy. Financing costs are on the rise and Spanish workers are planning to strike again. In addition, business confidence dropped on Friday alongside purchasing manager data which fell more than expected. With a bank holiday across most of Europe today and no data released, there should not be too much movement. However, with markets still very jittery over the debt crisis, we could see anything happen. Get in touch now for a live exchange rate.

In the USA, with risk aversion cooling over the weekend and this morning, the US dollar has fallen slightly against the pound. Risk aversion, where investors buy US dollar based government bonds (traditionally the safest asset class out there), has seen the US dollar strengthen nearly 12% against sterling since January and many wonder whether this has gone too far. Looking to the future, the US is likely to raise interest rates at some point this year, but recent forecasts show a very minimal increase by the end of 2010. The downward revision of interest rate forecasts shows that the USA is not yet in the robust recovery that many think. As a result, we could see further volatility as traders and investors reassess their forecasts for the pound/ US dollar as we go into the 2nd half of the year. Call in now for a quote.

Exchange rates change every second – call Smart Currency Exchange for a live up-to-the-minute quote on our Freephone number: 0808 163 0102 (+44 (0)207 898 0541 from outside the UK) or fill out our online quote form at: SmartCurrencyExchange.com/quote.aspx

Posted May 21st, 2010 by Charles Purdy

EURO/GBP – 1.153
US$/GBP – 1.443
CHF/GBP – 1.660
CAN$/GBP – 1.534
AUS$/GBP – 1.741

Sterling recovered from yesterday’s 14 month low against the US dollar as investors unwound ‘short’ positions in the pound as fears over European regulation hit investor confidence. German chancellor Angela Merkel’s banned ‘naked short’ selling of national debt – i.e. selling an asset you don’t have, moving the market down and then buying back at a profit. This feels like a very desperate attempt to preserve the euro, and banning naked short selling is not necessarily the best option – a ban on short selling bank shares in 2008 did not prevent those shares tumbling. The UK has suffered since the election as many feel the aggressive spending cuts promised by the government will hurt growth. There are several pieces of data out today. Public sector net borrowing, business investment and mortgage approvals could all cause significant volatility as sentiment towards the UK suffers. The pound has now fallen 11% against the US dollar in the last year – the worst performer of all the major currencies. Call in now for a live price.

In the Euro zone, following the 750bn bailout agreed the other week, there is a key vote today in the German parliament today to ratify using German funds to help Greece. The bailout is deeply unpopular amongst German voters and it poses a dilemma for the German government. Germany was a key player in the creation of the euro and the collapse of the currency would cause the country to lose face as Europe’s big player. Out today, German GDP for the 1st Quarter was confirmed at 0.2% (no change on the estimate). This had very little effect on sentiment – get in touch now as there is a lot of panic in the markets.

In the USA, with a relatively light day on the economic calendar, the US dollar has been trading on sentiment surrounding the Greek crisis. With the short selling ban now in place, the US dollar has dropped as investors close out speculative positions. Yesterday, manufacturing data showed a slight decline which was a little disappointing given previous industrial production data. With the pound still hovering around the 13 month low, there is still scope for it to fall even further. Get in touch now to avoid missing out.

Exchange rates change every second – call Smart Currency Exchange for a live up-to-the-minute quote on our Freephone number: 0808 163 0102 (+44 (0)207 898 0541 from outside the UK) or fill out our online quote form at: SmartCurrencyExchange.com/quote.aspx

Posted May 20th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

EURO/GBP – 1.158
US$/GBP – 1.437
CHF/GBP – 1.651
CAN$/GBP – 1.512
AUS$/GBP – 1.722

The new Chancellor of the Exchequer made his first speech yesterday outlining some of his thoughts on how to encourage businesses to the UK rather than driving them away. Key in this was a reduction in corporation tax. All makes sense because without a strong private sector it becomes very difficult to match government expenditure to income. Sterling had a relatively steady day as it continues to trade in narrow ranges against the euro and be on a downward trend against the US$. Against currencies such as the Australian $ and the New Zealand dollar sterling gained ground as risk aversion was on the increase over the Chinese economy. So times continue to be “interesting” and that is why I suggest you call in now so as to avoid unnecessary losses.

In the Euro zone the story of the day was the attempt to stop short selling of the euro [that is where investors sell Euros they don’t own on the belief that they could buy them later at a lower price]. There seemed to be some element of success as the euro strengthened from its four year low against the US$. The problem is that the markets will always find a way round such restrictions and therefore I suspect any solution like this will be short term and probably counter productive especially as it doesn’t address the problem. More volatility for the euro and again a good reason to call us sooner rather than later.

Again the US$ is benefitting from risk aversion and continues to strengthen against sterling and the euro. Even the Russians who wanted to diversify their reserves out of the US$ have been increasing their holding of US$’s. So unless there is some dramatic news out of the US it seems that the US$ is in an upward trend against both the euro and sterling for the short to medium term. So I would suggest that if you need to buy some US$’s then sooner rather than later probably makes sense.

Exchange rates change every second – call Smart Currency Exchange for a live up-to-the-minute quote on our Freephone number: 0808 163 0102 (+44 (0)207 898 0541 from outside the UK) or fill out our online quote form at: SmartCurrencyExchange.com/quote.aspx

Posted May 19th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

EURO/GBP – 1.174
US$/GBP – 1.432
CHF/GBP – 1.644
CAN$/GBP – 1.493
AUS$/GBP – 1.673

So the UK parliament met for the first time yesterday following the general election. Some people were sitting next to people they probably thought they would never sit next to ever in Parliament [e.g. David Cameron and Nick Clegg]. But we are in a brand new world after 15 plus years of New Labour and as such everyone was full of smiles and high spirits. Sadly this didn’t flow through to sterling. Sterling had a strange start to the day as consumer price inflation came in at 3.7% which was way ahead of the target of 2% and ahead of market expectations. Initially sterling benefitted but then lost ground as the market realised that interest rates in the UK are not going to increase any time soon [which is normally the solution when inflation is ahead of target] due to our “difficult” economic conditions. Very difficult times for sterling so please call now so that you can properly manage your currency exposure.

Now to the euro zone and the euro. The German government decided to ban the short selling of euro zone government debt. Not sure how effective this is going to be given the ability of the markets to find a way round such bans. And the markets kept the pressure up on the euro, especially against the US$ where the euro hit 4 year lows. Against sterling the euro gave back in the afternoon the gains its had made in the morning. So we seem to be in a fairly narrow range between sterling and the euro and who knows which way the next significant move will be. That is why it is important to give us a ring sooner than later so as to make sure you are not in the wrong place at the wrong time with your currency requirements.

The US$ continues to be flavour of the month/year at the moment and is living up to market expectations increasing in strength against sterling and the euro [hitting 4 year highs against the euro]. Not really surprising given the problems in the UK and the euro zone, the US$’s safe haven status and the expectation that the US is leading the western world out of recession. So call now as it doesn’t seem like a good idea to hold off on buying your dollars.

Exchange rates change every second – call Smart Currency Exchange for a live up-to-the-minute quote on our Freephone number: 0808 163 0102 (+44 (0)207 898 0541 from outside the UK) or fill out our online quote form at: SmartCurrencyExchange.com/quote.aspx

Posted May 18th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

EURO/GBP – 1.167
US$/GBP – 1.450
CHF/GBP – 1.637
CAN$/GBP – 1.493
AUS$/GBP – 1.652

The pound suffered yesterday as concerns over the UK’s escalating deficit saw sterling hit a 13 month low of $1.4250/ £1 against the US dollar and slip against the euro. With many investors shying away from highly indebted countries, many analysts expect the downward trend against the US dollar to continue. With no real data released today, the big news was the announcement by the Chancellor George Osborne that the government will create a new independent watchdog to monitor the budget and economic forecasting. In a move similar to Labour’s creation of an independent interest rate setting body early into their first term in 1997, the new Chancellor is looking to ensure that he and his new government are held to account on cutting the deficit. He also announced that the first budget would be announced on June 22nd. With the government committed to delivering £6bn worth of spending cuts in the next year, the markets will be waiting to see exactly where the cuts will come from. Whilst the City is keen on the tough stance on spending, there are concerns that an overly aggressive round of cuts will stifle the UK’s fragile growth. With poor house price figures out yesterday morning, the Chancellor has a lot to prove. Inflation data out later today could cause some movement and many expect the pound to suffer in the run up to the budget. Call in now for a live exchange rate.

In the Euro zone, the single currency had a torrid day slipping to a 4 year low against the US dollar as the markets remained sceptical that the IMF bailout will be enough to stop the wave of risk and poor sentiment towards the region. With Greece expecting the first 14.5bn instalment today, a European Central Bank board member was keen to stress that nobody was questioning the euro in an interview on Austrian radio. With so many European officials seemingly desperate to keep faith in the euro, this may cause a stumbling block in future if the single currency does come into question. Out today we have German economic sentiment and European inflation data. This could see further volatility if it underperforms. Call in now for a live exchange rate.

In the US, despite a strong week for industrial data last week, the ‘Empire’ manufacturing index came in a lot worse than expected fuelling expectations that the US recovery may not be as strong as many thought. The US dollar is experiencing a lot of strength related to negative sentiment – both towards the euro zone and the UK as growth prospects fall. Out later today we have building permit data giving an idea as to the state of the housing market and also purchasing data. Get in touch now to ensure you don’t miss out.

Exchange rates change every second – call Smart Currency Exchange for a live up-to-the-minute quote on our Freephone number: 0808 163 0102 (+44 (0)207 898 0541 from outside the UK) or fill out our online quote form at: SmartCurrencyExchange.com/quote.aspx

Posted May 17th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

EURO/GBP – 1.173
US$/GBP – 1.441
CHF/GBP – 1.643
CAN$/GBP – 1.495
AUS$/GBP – 1.646

Sterling has hit a 13 month low against the US dollar in early trading this morning and also fell against the euro as house price data for the UK raised concerns over the health of the domestic economy. This is a particular worry as the new government is committed to cutting the deficit, therefore investors are concerned that the UK will experience poor growth as a result. A house price survey showed that UK prices in May rose less than they did in April pointing to a slow down in the housing market recovery. The reason for the fall was an increase in supply causing sellers to reduce their price expectations. The pound hit $1.4253/ £1 – the lowest since March 2009 – and also fell against the euro to hit a low of 1.1640/ £1. There is little other data out today and as a result, the pound is likely to continue to trade on sentiment. Call in now for an updated price as we could break through the $1.40/ £1 barrier soon.

In the Euro zone, the euro has hit a 4 year low against the US dollar of $1.2235/1 as sentiment towards the region continues to fall. Concerns that the debt crisis in Europe will undermine the global economic recovery saw Asian stocks fall by 3% overnight – the most since November 2009. This in turn drove risk aversion and saw demand for US dollar surge as a safe haven asset. There is little other data out today in Europe, so expect the sentiment based trading to continue. We could quite conceivable hit $1.15/1 in the next few weeks. Call in now to ensure you don’t lose out.

In the USA, with strong demand for the US dollar today following a poor session on Asian stock markets, expect the trend to continue today. US stock futures suggest that the US stock markets will be down by several points later today. This risk aversion is driving demand for the US currency. Following strong industrial data last week, the Empire manufacturing survey is expected to show similar strength. Later in the week we have the minutes from the Fed’s recent interest rate decision, which could point to when the US Federal Reserve is likely to raise interest rates next. Get in touch now, as we have seen the pound fall by 20 cents over the last year. Stop this from continuing to impact your payments by speaking to a trader today.

Exchange rates change every second – call Smart Currency Exchange for a live up-to-the-minute quote on our Freephone number: 0808 163 0102 (+44 (0)207 898 0541 from outside the UK) or fill out our online quote form at: SmartCurrencyExchange.com/quote.aspx

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