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Posted December 31st, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Daily Currency Note

EURO/GBP - 1.1603
US$/GBP – 1.5495
CHF/GBP – 1.4514
CAN$/GBP - 1.5480
AUS$/GBP – 1.5212
ZAR/GBP – 10.2607
JPY/GBP
– 126.01
HKD/GBP – 12.0474
NZD/GBP – 2.0022
SEK/GBP – 10.4106
US$/EURO - 1.3350

Sterling lost ground as worries over the UK recovery were to the fore. The only currency that seemed to have a worse day was the US$ as concerns over their debt requirements grew.  

We are open until 3pm today so please feel free to get in touch. We then are back for business on Tuesday 4th January. 

So we end the year with sterling having gained a bit of ground against the euro , close to where we started the year against the US$ and having lost a lot of ground against the commodity backed currencies. I expect 2011 to be very similar.
 
I wish you all the very best and have a wonderful 2011

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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Posted December 30th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Daily Currency Note

EURO/GBP - 1.1717
US$/GBP – 1.5513
CHF/GBP – 1.4579
CAN$/GBP – 1.5501
AUS$/GBP – 1.5238
ZAR/GBP – 10.2617
JPY/GBP
– 129.35
HKD/GBP – 12.0736
NZD/GBP – 2.0184
SEK/GBP – 10.5391
US$/EURO – 1.3236

Sterling gained a little bit of ground across the board. The US$ suffered from worries over the level of its funding requirements over the coming year as yields on US government bonds continued to increase. There are also concerns about the Euro zone funding requirements for January over what demand there will be and what yields will be demanded by the market for government bonds from the periphery countries such as Spain. The total funding requirement for the Euro zone is put at €815 billion for the coming year which is clearly a very large and significant amount which highlights why January will be such a critical month in setting expectations for the rest of the year.

As highlighted yesterday the festive period means that market activity is a lot less than normal. The trouble with this is that transactions that normally have limited effect can result in rapid and significant movements and that is why it is important to minimise the downside risk and maximise the upside potential by getting in touch today.

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 December 29th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Daily Currency Note

EURO/GBP - 1.1707
US$/GBP – 1.5372
CHF/GBP – 1.4639
CAN$/GBP – 1.5337
AUS$/GBP – 1.5136
ZAR/GBP – 10.2840
JPY/GBP
– 129.247
HKD/GBP – 11.9649
NZD/GBP – 2.0181
SEK/GBP – 10.5290
US$/EURO – 1.3121 
  

We are in a quiet period with little news and low trading volumes as most sensible people make the most of the festive period. Sterling has lost a little bit of ground against the euro and the US$. But it is against the commodity backed currencies that the biggest change has happened with sterling losing significant ground on Tuesday. This was a surprise given that China had raised their interest rates over the weekend which is usually a negative for commodity backed currencies as it signals an effort by the Chinese Government to “manage” the rapid growth of their economy.
 
As trading volumes are low markets can move very quickly, as we have seen with the commodity backed currencies, and that is why it is so important to get in touch as early as possible to minimise downside risk.

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 December 23rd, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Daily Currency Note

EURO/GBP - 1.1738
US$/GBP – 1.5411
CHF/GBP – 1.4656
CAN$/GBP – 1.5590
AUS$/GBP – 1.5372
ZAR/GBP – 10.4225
JPY/GBP
– 129.692
HKD/GBP – 11.9872
NZD/GBP – 2.0632
SEK/GBP – 10.5671
US$/EURO – 1.3114

In our last Daily Currency Note before Christmas, sterling fell to a 3 month low against the US dollar after a downward revision to the UK’s growth figures for the 3rd Quarter reminded investors how fragile the road ahead is for the UK economy. Figures showed that against an initial estimate of 0.8%, GDP for June to September grew by 0.7% and in thin trading conditions ahead of Christmas, losses on sterling were exacerbated. However, the Bank of England’s minutes showed that policy makers were growing more and more concerned about inflation and as such the possibility of tighter monetary policy in 2011 kept the pound supported. Today is the last day of data, with some mortgage approval figures for the UK – whilst it is Christmas, there is still significant movement possible so call in now for a live exchange rate. We are open for trading until 2pm on Christmas Eve…

In the Euro zone, the euro has seen some strength today after it became clear that China had been buying large amounts of euros to hold in reserve but it still came under pressure on warnings over credit rating downgrades. In particular, a newspaper report in Portugal suggested that Portuguese debt had been bought heavily by the Chinese government. China’s central bank declined to comment though. It is looking like an interesting year ahead for the euro, with European bonds likely to be the big talking point – currently each country issues its own debt, and there has been talk of a centralised ‘Euro-bond’ to help stabilise the region.
 
In the USA, global stock markets gained yesterday following increased optimism over global economic growth, whilst the euro hit an all time low against the Swiss franc. The US dollar gained after GDP amendments showed that US GDP for the 3rd Quarter came in a touch better than had been initially estimated. With the Christmas trading very thin, the US dollar moves were exaggerated. Call in now if you need to buy currency in the next few days as there is scope for significant movement as a result of lower trading volumes.

Aside from that, let me (and all the team here at Smart Currency Exchange) wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and extend our best wishes for a prosperous 2011.

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 December 22nd, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Daily Currency Note

EURO/GBP - 1.1771
US$/GBP – 1.5466
CHF/GBP – 1.4753
CAN$/GBP – 1.5695

AUS$/GBP – 1.5501

ZAR/GBP – 10.5170

JPY/GBP
– 129.43
HKD/GBP – 12.0283
NZD/GBP – 2.0801
SEK/GBP – 10.5522

US$/EURO – 1.3137

Sterling hit a 3 month low against the US dollar yesterday as public borrowing figures came in far worse than expected and called into question whether the government can meet its deficit cutting target. Net borrowing by the government was at a record £22.8bn for November – up on last year’s £16.7bn and way above forecasts of £17bn. The Treasury maintained that the UK was on track to eliminate the budget deficit over the next four years, but sterling dropped to $1.5450/£1 – the lowest since September – as traders and investors questioned whether the government would achieve this target. Out today, we have the Bank of England’s meeting minutes and final GDP figures. Given the woeful borrowing figures, any changes to the Bank’s rhetoric could see some serious movement, so make sure you speak to one of the team now to avoid losing out.

 
In the eurozone, despite an initial surge against the US dollar after positive comments from China saw traders move to minimise losses, the euro fell against the US dollar yesterday as debt crisis concerns persisted. Credit rating agency Moody’s warned that it may downgrade debt-stricken Portugal’s rating in a review that could take 3 months. Spain sold nearly €4bn of bonds without too much hassle, but the dark cloud of the debt crisis is hanging over the region and is likely to last well into next year. Unfortunately, given the exposure of many UK banks this will not have the positive impact on the sterling/ euro price that many would expect so make sure you assess next year’s budgeted exchange rates sooner rather than later.
 
In the USA, the US dollar faltered slightly against the euro after the Chinese Vice Premier stated that China had invested a large portion of its foreign currency reserves in euros and a turning point for the euro was near. However, risk aversion soon took over and with concerns over the European debt crisis; UK borrowing data; and many looking for safe currencies for the festive period – the US dollar strengthened. In terms of data, there is some housing data released today which will be followed closely.
 
Elsewhere, the Australian dollar is currently trading at a 25 year high against sterling so if you are moving Aussie dollars into sterling, now is a great time to look at securing rates for the New Year and minimising losses for 2011.

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 December 21st, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Daily Currency Note

EURO/GBP - 1.1814
US$/GBP – 1.5543
CHF/GBP – 1.4950
CAN$/GBP – 1.5797
AUS$/GBP – 1.5608
ZAR/GBP – 10.5990
JPY/GBP
– 130.082
HKD/GBP – 12.0865
NZD/GBP – 2.0831
SEK/GBP – 10.5874
US$/EURO – 1.3152

Sterling gained against the euro yesterday as the single currency was hampered by euro zone debt crisis worries, but sterling’s gains were limited to 0.3% as concerns over the UK’s exposure to the crisis held the pound back. Overall price movement was limited as many investors stick to the sidelines until the first week of January and with the Bank of England reporting that UK banks will remain vulnerable to the European debt crisis into the new year, many traders are waiting until after the festive period to look at their options. Sterling vs euro is likely to suffer over fears of exposure, so it is one of the big issues to keep an eye on heading into 2011. The Confederation of British Industry cut its UK growth forecast for the first quarter of next year to 0.2%. It seems that sterling will have a tough start to the year, so ensure you speak to one of the team sooner rather than later to ensure you do not lose out.
 
In the eurozone, the single currency fell to all time lows against the Swiss franc and Australian dollar as investors worried about the debt crisis and further credit rating downgrades. To an extent, many investors are simply ‘shutting up shop’ for the next two weeks by moving their investments into safer currencies or assets such as gold or bonds. Gold crept higher for the second day running. In terms of data, the euro wasn’t helped by consumer confidence and manufacturing inflation figures that both came in slightly lower than expected.
 
In the USA, it was a very quiet day for data releases and today is no different. Most movement has come from trading related to concerns over the eurozone debt. This saw the traditional ‘flight to safety’ with investors buying US dollars as a safe haven asset. In addition, with the S&P 500 stock market up 5% on the month, traders were hesitant to buy stocks ahead of a potential correction. Released today, there is potentially a report from the US Treasury on currency, which could see some movement so call in now for a live exchange rate.

Elsewhere, traders were watching the situation in North Korea closely after South Korea performed a live firing exercise over the weekend. Hints of retaliation added to nervous traders and helped strengthen the US dollar.

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 December 20th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Daily Currency Note

EURO/GBP - 1.1821
US$/GBP – 1.5551
CHF/GBP – 1.5032
CAN$/GBP – 1.5742
AUS$/GBP – 1.5710
ZAR/GBP – 10.704
JPY/GBP
– 130.289
HKD/GBP – 12.098
NZD/GBP – 2.1009
SEK/GBP – 10.673
US$/EURO – 1.3153

Sterling hit a 3 month low against the US dollar on Friday after Lloyds Banking Group warned that it was making further provisions for losses on Irish debt that it is exposed to. This exacerbated concerns over the UK’s exposure to Ireland’s debt crisis and saw investors selling sterling. UK consumer confidence figures were much worse than expected, showing the lowest figures since the depths of the recession and giving an idea of the worries felt ahead of the impact of the government’s spending cuts. Coming into the Christmas week, economic releases are few and far between with the only real data of interest being the Bank of England’s meeting minutes from the last interest rate policy meeting on Wednesday. Call in now for a live exchange rate.

In the euro zone, the euro strengthened against sterling on Friday after particularly strong German business sentiment data contrasted with the poor UK data that was released. The calendar is very thin this week with no data releases of real note aside from some European consumer confidence and German Producer inflation data – both released today. The Irish debt crisis is still causing issues and with lower trading volumes expected over the next few days there is scope for quite sharp moves on the currency markets, so call in now for a live exchange rate.
 
In the USA, stronger than expected data at the back end of last week kept the upward pressure on for the US dollar as manufacturing and industrial production figures bucked expectations. Again, it is a very quiet week for data releases in the run up to Christmas and the week after will be no different. One thing to look out for though is sharp moves in the exchange rate as a result of low volumes of trade. Call in now and allow us to keep an eye on things for you.

Elsewhere, this week sees interest rate policy meetings in both Poland and Korea – both of which are expected to keep rates on hold. Get in touch whilst it is quiet to discuss next year’s currency requirements and discuss how Smart Currency can help manage your exchange rate risks.

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 December 17th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Daily Currency Note

EURO/GBP - 1.1749
US$/GBP – 1.5622
CHF/GBP – 1.4998
CAN$/GBP – 1.5721
AUS$/GBP – 1.5807
ZAR/GBP – 10.6295
JPY/GBP
– 131.167
HKD/GBP – 12.1503
NZD/GBP – 2.1147
SEK/GBP – 10.5875
US$/EURO – 1.3294

Sterling climbed against the US dollar and euro yesterday after UK retail sales data for October was revised upwards and inflation expectations continued to rise. November retail figures came in slightly lower than was expected, but consumer inflation expectations showed that many expect nearly 4% inflation in the coming months. Having dropped by 1.5% against the US dollar on Wednesday, sterling recovered but many analysts believe that a recovery above $1.57/£1 will simply see profit taking and as such sterling is likely to remain in a tight range against the US dollar. The inflation figures will put the Bank of England in a tough position, with soaring inflation and higher than expected unemployment figures. There is uncertainty about the impact of the austerity measures on growth, so the New Year is going to be interesting on that front.  

In the Euro zone, the euro fell against the other major currencies as the European Summit of European ministers got underway. The aim is to resolve deep divisions amongst euro member states over the best way to resolve the debt crisis and avoid further countries from requiring bailouts. Germany has been keen to avoid footing the bill for anymore bailouts and until resolution is found, there is likely to be a lot of concern still. Spain held a bond auction and had to pay higher interest rates than last time after credit rating agency Moody’s stated that it would amend its outlook for the country’s debt. Call in for a live exchange rate.
 
In the USA, the US dollar gained against the euro and yen yesterday after a report unexpectedly showed a jump in factory activity in the Mid-Atlantic region. Bond yields rose as investors looked elsewhere for returns on the news that suggested the US economy is recovering at a better rate than initially expected. Call in now for a live exchange rate.
 
Elsewhere, the Australian dollar seemed to be the only thing performing well down under as their cricket team collapsed to 268 all out against England in the third test of the Ashes in Perth. Sterling has remained under the $1.58/£1 for several days, so call in now for a live exchange rate and to avoid losing 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 December 16th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Daily Currency Note

EURO/GBP - 1.1756
US$/GBP – 1.5577
CHF/GBP – 1.5060
CAN$/GBP – 1.5643
AUS$/GBP – 1.5746
ZAR/GBP – 10.6527
JPY/GBP
– 130.95
HKD/GBP – 12.1140
NZD/GBP – 2.1101
SEK/GBP – 10.6551
US$/EURO – 1.3252

Sterling fell to a 12 day low against the US dollar yesterday after UK jobs data came in much weaker than expected. Many felt that this drop points towards a shaky recovery in the coming months, and with uncertainty over the impact of a 2.5% VAT hike and austerity measures, many investors pulled out of sterling positions. Despite figures from the Confederation of British Industry that showed retail sales had grown at the fastest pace for 8 years, the markets focused on data that showed that the number of Britons out of work rose for the first time in half a year with the unemployment rate hitting 7.9%. Out later today, there is retail sales data and the Bank of England’s Adam Posen speaks to the Institute of Directors so get in touch now for a live exchange rate.
 
In the Euro zone, the euro came under renewed pressure yesterday as worries persisted over the debt crisis in the region. The euro fell by 0.9% against the US dollar to hit a low of $1.3250/ €1after US credit rating agency Moody’s announced that it had put Spain’s Aa1 credit rating on review citing mounting debt and 2011 borrowing requirement. Today sees the start of the EU Economic summit, which is likely to be watched closely to find some sort of direction and long term plan to deal with the European debt crisis, so call in now and speak to one of the team about forward contracts and hedging.
 
In the USA, the US dollar started the day strongly after receiving a boost from data that showed a steady recovery in New York State’s manufacturing sector. Month on month consumer price inflation came in at 0.1% against an expectation of 0.2% which further supported the Federal Reserve’s recent move to pump an additional $600bn into the US economy to kick start the flagging recovery. Today we have further manufacturing data and US weekly unemployment claims.

Elsewhere, China and the USA have agreed to improve cooperation on issues ranging from trade to investment and finance. There has been a potential currency war brewing between the two countries over China’s use of a fixed exchange rate that artificially keeps Chinese goods cheap – much to the anger of many Americans who want to see manufacturing recover in the USA. This marks a first step to resolving these concerns.

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 December 15th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

Daily Currency Note

EURO/GBP - 1.1806
US$/GBP – 1.5753
CHF/GBP – 1.5118
CAN$/GBP – 1.5851
AUS$/GBP – 1.5856
ZAR/GBP – 10.7762
JPY/GBP
– 132.198
HKD/GBP – 12.2450
NZD/GBP – 2.1018
SEK/GBP – 10.7189
US$/EURO – 1.3338

Sterling dropped from 3 week highs against the US dollar yesterday after strong US figures helped boost the US dollar. UK inflation came in at 3.3% – the highest for 6 months – and the 11th consecutive month that it has been more than 1% higher than the Bank of England’s 2% target level. With GDP growth higher than trend and inflation persistently above targets, analysts now feel that there is only a small chance that the Bank of England would embark on a further round of Quantitative Easing, with many talking about the prospect of interest rate hikes early next year. With a VAT hike to 20% in the coming weeks, and a report released yesterday that suggested retailers would use the price rise as a smokescreen to increase prices beyond the 2.5% level, there are concerns that inflation will jump next year. You would expect sterling to strengthen as a result, but large selling of sterling by one Australian dollar buyer and thin trading volumes saw the pound drop. In the long run, yesterday was great news for the UK – especially given the USA has embarked on a 2nd round of QE and the Euro zone is in such a mess.
 
In the Euro zone, the euro slipped against the US dollar following the stronger than expected US retail sales figures. The euro started the week at $1.32/1 before hitting a high of $1.35/1 early on Tuesday and slipping back on the US figures. The focus revolved on the US economic situation and whether the Federal Reserve would add to the additional $600bn of asset purchases. Economic sentiment in Germany was stronger than expected yesterday also – call in now for a live exchange rate.
 
In the USA, retail sales and producer price data came in far better than expected which gave the US dollar a welcome boost after falling on Monday to lows against counterparts. Figures showed that core retail sales jumped to 1.2% on last months 0.8% increase and producer prices rose by 0.8% against an expectation of 0.6%. Business inventories – i.e. the amount of goods being stocked – also fell, which indicates that the US recovery may be accelerating. Released today, there is US inflation data. Last month showed 0.0% change, so the figures will be quite interesting – call in now for a live exchange rate.
 
Elsewhere, the Australian dollar strengthened beyond the 1:1 level against the US dollar after the price of oil rose. Now is a great time to be moving Australian dollars into sterling or US dollars so 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
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