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Posted November 30th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Daily Currency Note

EURO/GBP -  1.1859
US$/GBP – 1.5567 
CHF/GBP – 1.5490 
CAN$/GBP – 1.5854 
AUS$/GBP – 1.6155 
ZAR/GBP – 11.0888 
JPY/GBP
–  130.79 
HKD/GBP –  12.08632 
NZD/GBP – 2.08607 
SEK/GBP – 10.8770 
US$/EURO – 1.3128 
 
Sterling rose to a 2 month high against the euro yesterday as investors saw beyond the €85bn Irish rescue plan and sold the single currency on fears that other nations in the Euro zone would also need help. Sterling failed to capitalise on an upward revision to the UK’s growth forecasts by the Office of Budget Responsibility (“OBR”) which revised forecasts for 2010 from 1.2% to 1.8%, but cut the 2.3% forecast in 2011 to 2.1%. Sterling got stuck in the middle of the euro and US dollar, as investors moved from riskier assets into the safe haven US dollar. As a result, sterling slipped to a 2 month low against the US currency of $1.5529/£1. Other data released today showed that mortgage approvals in the UK fell to the lowest in 8 months and other figures showed a fall in house prices. This uncertainty is likely to cap any potential sterling gains against the euro, so call in now for a live exchange rate to avoid losing out.
 
In the Euro zone, the markets were digesting the main news from the weekend yesterday – namely the approval by EU finance ministers of a €85bn rescue package for Ireland. In addition, the outlines for a long term ‘European Stability Mechanism’ were also agreed. This is designed to be a more permanent bail out facility that will eventually force the private sector to share the burden. Despite calls from France and Germany that this idea (the brainchild of both nations) had “saved the euro”, financial markets were sceptical and as a result, the euro slipped to 2 month lows against the US dollar and sterling as investors looked to see who would be next. Call in now for a live exchange rate.
 
In the USA, the concerns over the future stability of the Euro zone left the US dollar in high demand as a safe haven currency. It was a quiet day for data in the region. Out today, there is consumer confidence that is expected to show a slight improvement. In addition, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke addresses a business school in Columbus. Also due out this week from the Treasury is the Treasury Currency Report, although there is no set release date for this. Get in touch now for a live exchange rate.
 
Elsewhere, South American currencies fell yesterday as the Euro zone debt situation deterred investors from investing in the ‘higher risk’ currencies of the Latin American states. The Mexican peso fell by 0.57% against the US dollar and the Brazilian real fell by nearly 0.4%. A fall in the price of copper saw the Chilean peso drop by 0.76% against the US dollar. Speak to one of the team about protecting yourself from adverse market movements.

 

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Posted November 29th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Daily Currency Note

EURO/GBP – 1.1770
US$/GBP – 1.5617
CHF/GBP – 1.5626
CAN$/GBP – 1.5905
AUS$/GBP – 1.6132
ZAR/GBP – 11.1105
JPY/GBP
– 131.11
HKD/GBP – 12.118
NZD/GBP – 2.0768
SEK/GBP – 10.8409
US$/EURO – 1.3264
 
Sterling fell against the US dollar on Friday afternoon hitting a 2 month low as concerns over the UK’s exposure to Euro zone debt left investors fearful that the crisis could spread beyond Greece and Ireland. There was poor house price data on Friday that showed house prices fell by 0.8% in October – the biggest fall since February 2009. There is some positive news expected today with the Office of Budget Responsibility expected to revise the growth predictions for this year upwards and mortgage approvals expected to come in at around the average monthly level of 48,000. Call in now for a live exchange rate as there is significant volatility.
 
In the euro zone, the biggest news of the weekend was the announcement of a finalised bail out plan for Ireland totalling €85bn. The loan package is aimed at bringing the country’s borrowing costs on the bond markets down to more acceptable and manageable levels, and also to add much needed liquidity to the banking system. European officials have been keen to play down the links between Ireland and Portugal – seen by many as the next domino at risk. So far this morning, the euro rose slightly against the US dollar but soon dropped again to 2 month lows. Speak to one of the team now about getting the best price.
 
In the USA, the US dollar has been the benefactor of risk aversion in the last few days, with investors buying the US currency as it represents one of the safest ways to hold investments at times of uncertainty. Following the Irish rescue package, investors have felt increasingly uncertain and as such have looked to the safe haven asset. It is a quiet day for data, so call in now for a live exchange rate.
 
Elsewhere, investors have been cutting their Australian dollar holdings as China has made moves to tighten up monetary policy to combat the soaring inflation in the country. In addition, all eyes have been on the Korean peninsula with the Korean won losing several per cent last week over concerns that conflict was breaking out again. Get in touch now for a live exchange rate.

 

 

 

For more information on Smart Currency Exchange, please call our freephone: 0808 163 0102 (+44 (0)207 898 0541 from outside the UK) or visit our website at: SmartCurrencyExchange.com
Posted November 26th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Daily Currency Note

EURO/GBP – 1.1840
US$/GBP – 1.5695
CHF/GBP – 1.5711
CAN$/GBP - 1.5985
AUS$/GBP – 1.6254
ZAR/GBP – 11.1890
JPY/GBP
– 131.44
HKD/GBP – 12.1722
NZD/GBP – 2.0842
SEK/GBP – 10.9850
US$/EURO – 1.3255

Sterling was undermined by comments from the Bank of England governor Mervyn King, who said “strong action” against inflation could destabilise the economy.  Sterling continues to follow trends from events in the Eurozone as it reversed gains against the Euro following comments by ECB member, Axel Aeber who indicated that Europe’s rescue fund of 750 billion Euro’s could be increased if necessary.
 
Sentiment on the Euro remains week as it dropped to a fresh 2-month low against the US Dollar as heavier trading returns following the Thanksgiving holiday, the single currency hit $1.3279. With political tensions rising in Dublin, holders of Irish sovereign debt have been worried about the risk that the budget will not be passed next month, which would delay any bailout from international lenders.  The risk of contagion in the Eurozone still persist as the yields on Spanish debt increased.
 
Bond markets were quiet yesterday due to the Thanksgiving holiday in the US which suppressed volumes and with an early close once again in the US today we can expect trading volumes to remain range bound until trade resumes on Monday.  The US Dollar has been stronger across the board today with North Korean comments heightening tensions in Asia and leading to a flight to safety.
 
As the year end approaches the commodity backed currencies are vulnerable to a sell off as a prospective slowdown in the Chinese economy may lead to investors searching for the safe haven assets of the US Dollar, Swiss Franc and Japanese yen.

 

For more information on Smart Currency Exchange, please call our freephone: 0808 163 0102 (+44 (0)207 898 0541 from outside the UK) or visit our website at: SmartCurrencyExchange.com
Posted November 25th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Daily Currency Note

EURO/GBP – 1.1852
US$/GBP – 1.5762
CHF/GBP – 1.5761
CAN$/GBP - 1.5934
AUS$/GBP – 1.6087
ZAR/GBP – 11.13
JPY/GBP
– 131.89
HKD/GBP – 12.24
NZD/GBP – 2.072
SEK/GBP – 10.98
US$/EURO – 1.3306

Sterling hit a high of €1.1862/£1 against the euro as the situation in Ireland continued to see investors selling the single currency ahead of a finalised bailout plan that is expected later this week. Data in the UK helped lift sterling with GDP data for the 3rd Quarter unchanged from the first estimate a few weeks ago. The UK grew by 0.8% in the 3 months to October and 2.8% year on year, boosted by net trade that the relatively weak currency had attracted. With investors looking for a credible alternative to the single currency, many expect sterling to continue to gain against the euro in the coming months, but some were concerned over the level of exposure that the UK had to Ireland which could hold sterling back. In terms of data, today we have the Inflation Report hearing, in which members of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee testify to the Treasury Committee. It can cause volatility, so call in now for a live exchange rate.
 
In the Euro zone, the Irish debt crisis continues. Rating agency Standard and Poor’s downgraded Ireland’s sovereign rating from AA- to A as it became the second European nation to seek financial aid. This is likely to worsen the flight from Irish bonds as the Irish Government remained in talks with the EU and the IMF over a bailout package for the banking system. The bailout is likely to be in the region of €85bn. Throughout the afternoon, the Irish government announced a punishing 4 year €15bn austerity plan in order to pay for the crisis and meet the terms of the pending EU/ IMF bailout. The euro is fragile, so call in now to get a live exchange rate.
 
In the USA, fears over heightened tensions between North and South Korea saw investors seek the safer haven US dollar, as news broke that a US aircraft carrier was on the way to provide a deterrent. However, in terms of economic data, US unemployment claims came in better than expected – falling from 441,000 last week and coming in better than expected at 434,000. New home sales came in slightly worse than expected, but after a shaky start related to Korea, the US dollar benefited from the positive jobs data. It is Thanksgiving today, so the markets are shut in the USA – this can see volatility though, so get in touch.
 

Elsewhere, following the better US jobs figures (the best since July 2008), investors looked to higher yielding investments and as a result, both the Australian dollar and Brazilian real strengthened against their US counterpart. With the highly correlated risk appetite/ aversion trading, call in now for a live price. 

 
For more information on Smart Currency Exchange, please call our freephone: 0808 163 0102 (+44 (0)207 898 0541 from outside the UK) or visit our website at: SmartCurrencyExchange.com
Posted November 24th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Daily Currency Note

 

EURO/GBP - 1.1850
US$/GBP – 1.5775
CHF/GBP – 1.5744
CAN$/GBP - 1.6101
AUS$/GBP – 1.6142
ZAR/GBP – 11.22
JPY/GBP – 130.89
HKD/GBP – 12.23
NZD/GBP – 2.072
SEK/GBP – 11.056
US$/EURO - 1.3303

 

Sterling hit a 2 month high against the euro yesterday of €1.1836/£1 as fears that the debt crisis could spread left investors selling the euro. The risk of ‘contagion’ (i.e. other countries in the region joining Ireland and Greece in needing a bailout) saw a resurgence in ‘risk aversion’ where investors look to buy safe haven assets and avoid losing money. As a result, sterling lost out to the US dollar, slipping to the lowest level in nearly 4 weeks as fears over European debt and also the North Korean shelling of South Korea left many investors running to US bonds – traditionally the safest asset globally. In terms of data, mortgage approvals came in roughly as expected, with the big news out tomorrow in the form of the revised GDP figures for the 3rd Quarter. The initial estimate showed 0.8% growth when it was released a few weeks ago, which was better than expected. Any change to this number is likely to see volatility so call in now for a live exchange rate.
 
In the Euro zone, with the markets in a holding pattern awaiting details of the planned Irish bailout, the euro dropped further yesterday following negative comments from key individuals and uncertainty over the Irish political situation. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Ireland’s crisis left the euro in an “exceptionally serious” situation. In addition, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaueuble said that the future of the euro was at risk due to the Irish crisis. The Euro zone is in a bad way, with many investors looking more closely at Portugal and Spain which are by all accounts next in the firing line for a debt crisis. Out later today, there is Italian retail sales data so ensure you get in touch sooner rather than later to avoid missing out.
 
In the USA, the debt crisis in Ireland saw investors flocking to the US dollar as an investment. In addition, breaking news throughout the day showed that North Korea had launched an artillery attack on a South Korean island. The threat of conflict left investors spooked and saw the US dollar gain by 3.5% against the South Korean won. US GDP was revised upwards from 2.3% to 2.5% which also helped. Out today there is US unemployment claims figures and new home sales figures so get in touch now to prevent market movements impacting your payments.

Elsewhere, with the England cricket team the favourites heading into their defence of the Ashes ‘Down Under’, sterling had a strong day against the Australian dollar gaining 0.5% and hitting a high of $1.6286/£1 as investors pulled out of riskier assets.

 
 

For more information on Smart Currency Exchange, please call our freephone: 0808 163 0102 (+44 (0)207 898 0541 from outside the UK) or visit our website at: SmartCurrencyExchange.com

Posted November 23rd, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Daily Currency Note

EURO/GBP – 1.1710
US$/GBP – 1.5925
CHF/GBP – 1.5746
CAN$/GBP - 1.6225
AUS$/GBP – 1.6218
ZAR/GBP – 11.18
JPY/GBP
– 133.10
HKD/GBP – 12.358
NZD/GBP – 2.071
SEK/GBP – 10.980
US$/EURO – 1.3590

Sterling gained against the euro yesterday after the single currency lost early gains following the bailout as the country was plunged into political uncertainty. Despite the headline grabbing news, the financial markets were anticipating a bailout last week. Therefore, yesterday’s news did not see the volatility that might be expected with sterling creeping back over €1.17/£1 to hit a high of €1.1750/£1 so far this morning. Many analysts expect sterling to gain against the euro in the coming months as surprisingly strong UK data combined with the lower likelihood of further Quantitative Easing leaves the UK economy in a relatively resilient position. Out today there is mortgage approval data and later on Adam Posen (the sole advocate of further Quantitative Easing) speaks in Stockholm. Call in now for a live exchange rate.
 
In the Euro zone, political uncertainty dogged Ireland yesterday as the country faces a nervous few weeks. Public anger at how the government has handled the banking crisis was directed at the Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen yesterday, as he stated he would stay in office until parliament passed the budget before calling an election. With a multi-billion euro bailout riding on a budget that is acceptable to the EU and IMF, the chances of passing the budget dropped dramatically as 2 independent members of parliament withheld their support for the plans. Data out today includes purchasing data, but this is likely to have a minimal impact relative to the Irish situation so call in and speak to one of the team to ensure you are protected.
 
In the USA, the market moving news so far today has been the reports coming through of artillery fire between North and South Korea. The prospect of war in the region has seen investors flock to the safe haven of US dollars and US Treasury bonds. Stock markets have also fallen globally as the combined effect of Ireland and the Korean exchange of fire has left investors with jitters. Out today there is the ‘Preliminary’ GDP figure for the 3rd Quarter – the first amendment of the latest figure. Any amendments up or down will have a large effect. Call in now for a live price.
 
Elsewhere, the Australian dollar took a large hit overnight. As a ‘risk correlated’ currency – i.e. it is sold off on any hint of global uncertainty – the combined brunt of Irish political uncertainty and a potential conflict in Korea saw investors flock to safe haven assets such as the US dollar. Call in now to make sure you don’t lose out.

For more information on Smart Currency Exchange, please call our freephone: 0808 163 0102 (+44 (0)207 898 0541 from outside the UK) or visit our website at: SmartCurrencyExchange.com

Posted November 22nd, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Daily Currency Note

EURO/GBP – 1.1676
US$/GBP – 1.6044
CHF/GBP – 1.5897
CAN$/GBP - 1.6254
AUS$/GBP – 1.6130
ZAR/GBP – 11.19
JPY/GBP
– 133.79
HKD/GBP – 12.443
NZD/GBP – 2.063
SEK/GBP – 10.946
US$/EURO – 1.3738

Sterling fell against the euro on Friday, as anticipation over a potential Irish bailout helped the single currency. Sterling also slipped against the US dollar after China increased the capital reserve requirements for Banks. This saw concerns over potential tightening of policy in the country that could impact the wider global economy. Worryingly for the pound, it closed the week below $1.60/£1 which could mark a move back towards the mid $1.50s. This comes despite last week’s minutes from the Bank of England Monetary Policy Meeting that saw the possibility of further Quantitative Easing pushed back as inflation is expected to remain high. With a quiet day for data today, expect movement related to the Irish bailout so call in now to speak to one of the team and protect yourself.

In the Euro zone, the big news over the weekend was that Ireland is now officially seeking financial aid from international lenders – both to prop up the banks, but also to help the country to secure cheaper borrowing on the international debt markets. In a statement on Sunday, Finance Minister Brian Lenihan said that the bailout would be less than €100bn with a senior government official quoting a figure of between €80-90bn. It is a quiet day for data releases, so call in now for a live exchange rate as the market is likely to be volatile following this weekend’s announcement.
 
In the USA, last week saw Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke hit back at critics of the Fed’s latest round of Quantitative Easing, stating that the best thing for the global recovery was policy that stimulated the US economy and brought it back to full throttle. He denied that the latest round of bond purchases was a deliberate attempt to weaken the US dollar and encourage exports. Call in now for a live exchange rate to avoid losing out.
 
Elsewhere, the news that China was looking to tighten up on policy dented the Australian dollar last week. Chinese demand for commodities has driven the Australian economy, so any moves to dampen Chinese growth will see the Aussie dollar weaken off.

 

For more information on Smart Currency Exchange, please call our freephone: 0808 163 0102 (+44 (0)207 898 0541 from outside the UK) or visit our website at: SmartCurrencyExchange.com

 

 

 

Posted November 19th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Daily Currency Note

EURO/GBP – 1.172
US$/GBP – 1.593
CHF/GBP – 1.574
CAN$/GBP - 1.623
AUS$/GBP – 1.615
ZAR/GBP – 11.153
JPY/GBP
– 132.65
HKD/GBP – 12.353
NZD/GBP – 2.057
US$/EURO – 1.358

Sterling gained against the US dollar yesterday as positive retail sales figures and factory orders helped lift the pound back over $1.60/£1 but it struggled to hold above that level. Retail sales rose by 0.5% in October, recovering from the -0.2% fall the previous month. Data also showed that factory orders fell at a slower pace than expected. One piece of bad news out was government borrowing, which hit a record high for the month of £9.8bn. Sterling was supported against the euro after Wednesday’s Bank of England minutes showed that further UK Quantitative Easing is off the agenda for another few months at least. It is a quiet day on the data front today, so ensure you call in to stop any adverse pieces of news impacting your payments next week.

In the Euro zone, the euro strengthened yesterday in response to news that Ireland will receive billions of euros in loans to help ease the banking and debt crisis in the country. The euro gained 1% against the US dollar and Japanese yen on the news, but the recovery may be short lived as investors are likely to become concerned over the risk of contagion – i.e. the debt crisis spreading to countries like Portugal and Spain. Spain is a much larger economy than Ireland and any issues there will cause problems. Today we have German wholesale price inflation so call in now to ensure you get the best rate.

In the USA, unemployment claims came in as expected at 439,000 and manufacturing figures came in much better than expected. Yesterday’s figures from the USA point to an improving picture of the economy, which could see investors and traders pull out of ‘short positions’ i.e. bets against the US dollar that expect it to fall. However, Wednesday saw the lowest annual inflation figure since records began in 1957 – data which clearly supports the Federal Reserve’s recent decision to pump an additional $600bn into the economy. With such mixed messages, it is important to speak to atrader to help you buy at the right time.

Elsewhere, Chile’s economy grew at the fastest rate for 5 years in the 3rd Quarter as data showed GDP at 7% more from the year before. The Chilean peso has gained by 14% since June. Call in now for a live exchange rate.

For more information on Smart Currency Exchange, please call our freephone: 0808 163 0102 (+44 (0)207 898 0541 from outside the UK) or visit our website at: SmartCurrencyExchange.com

 

Posted November 18th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Daily Currency Note

EURO/GBP – 1.172
US$/GBP – 1.593
CHF/GBP – 1.574
CAN$/GBP - 1.623
AUS$/GBP – 1.615
ZAR/GBP – 11.153
JPY/GBP
– 132.65
HKD/GBP – 12.353
NZD/GBP – 2.057
US$/EURO – 1.358

Sterling edged up yesterday after an unexpected drop in the number of people claiming unemployment benefits and minutes from the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee November meeting showed that the bank is still some way off implementing further Quantitative Easing. The figures showed that the number of people claiming unemployment benefit fell by 3,700 in October against an expectation of an increase of 5,000. The Bank of England minutes showed that the vote remained the same as last month with a 3 way split between those keen to keep policy on hold and then Andrew Sentance voting for a 0.25% increase in the interest rate and Adam Posen voting for further Quantitative Easing. Out today there is retail sales data so call in now for a live exchange rate.  

In the Euro zone, Ireland came under further pressure yesterday with the premium that the Irish government has to pay on bonds getting higher and higher due to the risk of default. With EU ministers scrambling to work out a rescue plan for Ireland, the euro continued to suffer. Whilst Ireland is a relatively small fish in the economic pond, the prospect of a bailout is likely to keep the euro on the back foot in the short to medium term. It is a relatively quiet day on the data front so call in now for a live price.
 
In the USA, the US dollar fell against the euro and Japanese yen as stock markets fell with the lack of resolution to the Irish debt situation. Demand for US government bonds rose as data showed the lowest annual inflation level on record and housing figures disappointed. In addition, US stock markets fell due to concerns over China, as Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said his government were taking steps to tame price rises, suggesting that this might apply to inflows of currency into the country also. Speak to one of the team to avoid missing out.
 
Elsewhere, the Canadian dollar continued to stay under pressure following falling commodity prices in relation to Chinese moves to stem demand in the economy. With no real data out, the ‘Loonie’ – as it is known – will track general risk sentiment, so speak to one of the team now about protecting yourself from adverse market movements.

For more information on Smart Currency Exchange, please call our freephone: 0808 163 0102 (+44 (0)207 898 0541 from outside the UK) or visit our website at: SmartCurrencyExchange.com

 

Posted November 17th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Daily Currency Note

EURO/GBP – 1.177
US$/GBP – 1.586
CHF/GBP – 1.580
CAN$/GBP - 1.626
AUS$/GBP – 1.630
ZAR/GBP – 11.217
JPY/GBP
– 132.33
HKD/GBP – 12.300
NZD/GBP – 2.077
US$/EURO – 1.347

 

Sterling fell sharply yesterday after Bank of England governor Mervyn King signalled that the Bank of England could launch a further programme of Quantitative Easing if needed. Earlier in the day, data showed that UK inflation came in higher than expected at 3.2%, which gave sterling a boost. However, governor King’s comments wiped out these earlier gains with sterling falling to a low of $1.5843/£1 from a high of $1.6080/£1. Against the euro, sterling slipped from a high of 1.1824/£1 to a low of 1.1733/£1. A number of automatic trades triggered against the US dollar, which exacerbated the volatility and saw sterling down 1.1% on the day. Out today, we have the minutes from the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Meeting two weeks ago, which could see sterling drop even further if any other members join Adam Posen in voting for more Quantitative Easing so call in now for a live exchange rate and protect yourself from losing out.

In the Euro zone, the euro had a surprise boost yesterday as the ‘ZEW’ investor sentiment figure came in much better than expected for the region which marginally helped the euro. However, Ireland and Portugal were still in the spotlight and Euro zone finance officials meet today to discuss a bailout – despite resistance from the Irish government to state wide help from the ECB, suggesting that a bank bailout is all that is needed. With the EU council President describing the EU as being in a “survival crisis”, make sure you speak to one of the team about protecting yourself.

In the USA, the US dollar hit a 7 week high against the euro as concerns over a deepening debt crisis in the Euro zone saw the single currency drop to below $1.35/1. The US dollar also strengthened against other major currencies as a result of risk aversion. In terms of data, factory gate inflation did not increase as much as had been expected – disappointing the markets with a 0.4% against an expectation of 0.7%. Data out tomorrow includes consumer inflation which is expected to come in at 0.3% on the month. Call in now for a live exchange rate.

Elsewhere, the Canadian dollar took a tumble yesterday after concerns over falling global demand for commodities impacted expectations for Canada’s major export. A move by China to stem its ballooning growth would see demand for commodities drop and impact Canada’s economy. Speak to one of the team now about taking advantage.

For more information on Smart Currency Exchange, please call our freephone: 0808 163 0102 (+44 (0)207 898 0541 from outside the UK) or visit our website at: SmartCurrencyExchange.com

 

 

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