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Posted March 31st, 2011 by Charles Purdy

Daily Currency Note


EURO/GBP - 
1.1375
US$/GBP – 1.6136
CHF/GBP – 1.4777
CAN$/GBP – 1.5666
AUS$/GBP – 1.5620
ZAR/GBP – 10.9430
JPY/GBP
– 133.916
HKD/GBP – 12.5626
NZD/GBP – 2.1192
SEK/GBP – 10.1512
US$/EURO – 1.4184
 
Sterling recovered from Tuesday’s five month low against the euro and strengthened by 0.7% to hit a high of €1.1424/£1. It also made gains against the dollar hitting a daily high of $1.6083/£1 after data showed UK service sector activity grew at the fastest monthly pace in January since July 2002. In addition, sterling benefited as Bank of England policymaker Martin Weale declared that the bank should increase interest rates as there is a high risk that inflation will not return to its 2% target. House price figures from Nationwide are expected later today and are expected to show a small drop. Ensure you don’t miss out by speaking to a trader today.
In the euro zone, the euro took a slight hit today falling by 0.4% against sterling. Despite this fall on the back of sterling strength, the euro is up 2.3% on the year and is currently buoyed by market expectations that the European Central Bank’s will raise interest rates before the Bank of England. Many analysts believe that this will happen as early as next month. Out today there is German retail sales data and European inflation – both of which could cause volatility.

The US Dollar stayed fairly flat yesterday. There is a high possibility that the dollar will remain supported throughout the week after a key Federal Reserve official said that the central bank may have to tighten monetary policy to avoid inflation. US ADP non-farm payroll (a key pre-cursor to Friday’s headline figures) came in slightly lower than expected but did not cause much movement. Today sees weekly unemployment figures, so ensure you are protected by calling in today.

Elsewhere, Asian currencies strengthened yesterday on rumours that the central banks in the region will increase interest rates in order to avoid inflation. The South Korean won lead the way gaining by 0.6% against the US dollar. Call in now as there is a lot of volatility in the market – especially with the situation in Japan.

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Posted March 30th, 2011 by Charles Purdy

Daily Currency Note

EURO/GBP – 1.1393
US$/GBP – 1.6036
CHF/GBP – 1.4811
CAN$/GBP – 1.5594
AUS$/GBP – 1.5558
ZAR/GBP – 10.9720
JPY/GBP – 133.20
HKD/GBP – 12.4954
NZD/GBP – 2.1133
SEK/GBP – 10.1806
US$/EURO – 1.4075

Sterling fell to a 5 month low against the euro yesterday on expectations that UK interest rate rises would lag the euro zone. The pound also struggled to move off a 2 month low against the US dollar. UK data showed that 4th quarter GDP fell less than expected; with revised figures showing that the economy contracted by 0.5% rather than 0.6% that had initially been estimated. Mortgage approvals rose slightly, but the real key data will be the 1st quarter GDP data for 2011. The Bank of England will want to see growth if it is to start raising interest rates. Out today, it is a relatively quiet day for UK data but a member of the Bank of England speaks later which could see some fallout with regards to market expectations of interest rate movements.

In the euro zone, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet was in the spotlight again after making further comments regarding interest rate hikes in the region. Markets are now fully expecting an interest rate rise in the euro zone next month. This helped the euro strengthen, despite Portugal’s debt being downgraded to one level above ‘junk’ status, causing yields to rise even further. Call in now for a live exchange rate.

The US dollar strengthened yesterday after St Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard insisted that the Federal Reserve should begin to normalise its $600bn bond purchasing programme. Today we have ADP non-farm payroll change – an important pre-cursor to Friday’s main numbers. Call in now for an exchange rate.

Elsewhere, the Australian dollar rose to a 29 year high against the US dollar – the highest since 1982, when it was a managed (i.e. not free floating) currency. Risk appetite is driving Australian dollar strength, so call in to protect yourself.

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 March 29th, 2011 by Charles Purdy

Daily Currency Note


EURO/GBP - 
1.1343
US$/GBP – 1.6021
CHF/GBP – 1.4659
CAN$/GBP – 1.5613
AUS$/GBP – 1.5610
ZAR/GBP – 10.9885
JPY/GBP
– 130.687
HKD/GBP – 12.4938
NZD/GBP – 2.1262
SEK/GBP – 10.2090
US$/EURO – 1.4119

Sterling hit a 5 month low against the euro and a 2 month low against the US dollar, as investors pushed back their expectations of when the Bank of England would look to raise interest rates in the UK. Sterling dropped to a low of €1.1337/£1 in late afternoon trading and $1.5936/£1 earlier in the day. Weak UK data over the last few days, including a downgrade of the UK’s growth prospects in last week’s budget, have raised concerns over the fragility of the UK recovery. Tied in with the Bank of England’s reluctance to act promptly, investors’ expectations of an interest rate hike have been pushed back. Out today, there is key trade balance data, lending data and final fourth quarter GDP figures that could see some movement. Ensure you don’t lose out by speaking to one of the team today.

In the euro zone, the single currency lost ground yesterday morning as German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU party lost a key regional election. However, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said in a statement that European inflation was above target levels and as such the likelihood of an interest rate rise in the region was maintained. This helped the euro recover from earlier losses. Today there is German consumer confidence and inflation data, so call in for a live exchange rate.

In the USA, the US dollar was supported by comments from Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Plosser last week in which he made clear that the Fed would need to reverse its loose monetary policy stance “in the not too distant future”. In addition, US pending home sales rebounded after a poor January beating expectations by nearly 3%. Out today, there is US consumer confidence figures that could have a high impact on exchange rates so ensure you do not lose out.

Elsewhere, the Canadian dollar gained against the majority of its counterparts as oil (the country’s biggest export) traded within $3 of a 30-month high on concerns that supply might be disrupted by the Libyan crisis and on speculation that the US economy is recovering.

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 March 28th, 2011 by Charles Purdy

Daily Currency Note

EURO/GBP - 1.1379
US$/GBP – 1.5998
CHF/GBP – 1.4744
CAN$/GBP – 1.5702
AUS$/GBP – 1.5566
ZAR/GBP – 10.9675
JPY/GBP
– 130.69
HKD/GBP – 12.4835
NZD/GBP – 2.1276
SEK/GBP – 10.2489
US$/EURO – 1.4154
 

Sterling held around 2011 lows against the euro on Friday and was poised for further falls on concerns over UK economic growth and uncertainty about the timing of an interest rate hike by the Bank of England. Poor retail sales figures saw sterling extend losses that began with UK growth forecasts being cut by Chancellor George Osborne in last week’s Budget. At the beginning of last week, markets had been pricing in a rate hike of 0.25% as early as May, but following the growth downgrade and Bank of England minutes that showed a reluctance to hike rates, this expectation has been pushed back to August. Out this week, we have mortgage lending figures, final GDP figures for the 4th quarter and house price data towards the end of the week. Call in now for a live exchange rate.
 
In the euro zone, the euro lost ground this morning as German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU party lost a key regional election. Last week’s European Summit didn’t throw up any surprises and there seems to now be some certainty with regards to the European stability fund. Portugal may be the next in line for a bailout so the markets will be keeping a close eye on things. ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet speaks later today, and with an interest rate hike due in April we could see some volatility so call in for a price to ensure you don’t miss out.

In the USA, GDP figures were revised upwards on Friday showing that the economy grew by 3.1% in the 4th quarter of last year, up from the previous estimate of 2.8%. The key releases today could have quite a significant impact – personal spending was poor in January and pending home sales are expected to show a steep rebound following poor figures in January, so call in as the US dollar could see some strength. 

Elsewhere, as market panic subsides after the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, Japanese yen volatility is falling too. The Japanese yen/ Australian dollar “carry trade” (i.e. borrowing cheap yen to fund investments in the higher yielding Australian dollar) picked up again last week as investors returned to more trading patterns. Progress on the nuclear reactor helped in this respect also. Libya is still a big issue also, so make sure you are protected by speaking to one of the team sooner rather than later.

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 March 25th, 2011 by Charles Purdy

Daily Currency Note

EURO/GBP - 1.1375
US$/GBP – 1.6121
CHF/GBP – 1.4692
CAN$/GBP – 1.5716
AUS$/GBP – 1.5742
ZAR/GBP – 11.0470
JPY/GBP
– 130.531
HKD/GBP – 12.5636
NZD/GBP – 2.1418
SEK/GBP – 10.1916
US$/EURO – 1.4165
 

Sterling fell to a 4 ½ month low against the euro as poor UK retail sales data raised concerns over a fragile economy and credit rating agency Moody’s warned that slower growth combined with spending cuts could make it harder for the government to rein in the deficit. Retail sales fell by 0.8% on the month against an expectation of a 0.6% fall. The reversal of fortune this week has been staggering – early in the week, analysts were talking about interest rate hikes in May following high inflation but now the indicators seem to be showing a lack of demand in the economy which will see growth struggle.
 
In the euro zone, the euro gained against sterling on a weak UK outlook but itself slipped briefly against the US dollar following a downgrade of the Portuguese credit rating by rating agency Standard & Poor’s. The euro did recover as European leaders agreed on Thursday to increase the financial rescue fund to the full €440bn by June. The EU Summit continues today, so call in now for a live exchange rate.
 
In the USA, the US dollar came under pressure yesterday as a global equities recovery saw risk appetite return and investors look to higher yielding currencies. US dollar weakness was most profound against the Australian dollar, where the US dollar is hovering around lows last seen in 1982. We have the final GDP figures for the 4th quarter released later, so censure you protect yourself by speaking to a trader sooner rather than later.

Elsewhere, Japanese markets have settled somewhat as progress seems to be being made on the crippled nuclear power plant. Against the US dollar, investors seem to be wary of the threat of further selling intervention by the central bank and as such the yen seems to have stabilised around the Y80/$1 mark.

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 March 24th, 2011 by Charles Purdy

Daily Currency Note

EURO/GBP - 1.1520
US$/GBP – 1.6214
CHF/GBP – 1.4784
CAN$/GBP – 1.5901
AUS$/GBP – 1.6005
ZAR/GBP – 11.2410
JPY/GBP
– 131.09
HKD/GBP – 12.6397
NZD/GBP – 2.1703
SEK/GBP – 10.2766
US$/EURO – 1.4071
 

Sterling fell by 0.8% against the US dollar as Chancellor George Osborne lowered the estimate for UK economic growth to 1.7% this year from a previous forecast of 2.1%. Inflation is also expected to remain between 4% and 5% which raises the possibility that we could be looking at a period of “stagflation”. Heading into yesterday, sterling had been buoyed by higher than expected inflation and an anticipation of earlier than expected interest rates. However, the Bank of England minutes showed no changes to last month’s voting and the Budget delivered a downgraded growth forecast – both of which contributed to sterling’s drop. Out today we have retail sales figures that could see some volatility, so call in now for a live price.
 
In the euro zone, the euro held firm as expectations for an interest rate hike next month rebounded and this contrasted sharply with the Bank of England’s stance and also poor US data. The euro’s gains were limited by concerns over Portugal, where there were worries that a political crisis could see the country seeking emergency help from the European Union. The European Summit kicks off today, so keep an eye out for any news that could see significant movements.
 
In the USA, housing figures disappointed yet again with new home sales data undershooting the estimate by 40,000 and hit a record low for February. Crude oil was trading at $116 a barrel as tensions in the Middle East and North Africa kept investors cautious. Call in now for a live exchange rate.

Elsewhere, the New Zealand dollar performed well overnight as 4th quarter growth beat forecasts and helped calm concerns over the onset of a recession.

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 March 23rd, 2011 by Charles Purdy

Daily Currency Note

EURO/GBP - 1.1545
US$/GBP – 1.6353
CHF/GBP – 1.4722
CAN$/GBP – 1.6059
AUS$/GBP – 1.6211
ZAR/GBP – 11.3053
JPY/GBP
– 132.03
HKD/GBP – 12.7495
NZD/GBP – 2.2109
SEK/GBP – 10.3404
US$/EURO – 1.4169

CPI inflation hit the highest level since October 2008 yesterday, and saw sterling hit a new 14 month high of $1.64/£1. Higher than expected inflation saw renewed calls for an interest rate hike, with markets pricing in a hike by the Bank of England as early as May. Whilst it is all too easy to get carried away by the headline grabbing inflation figures, the Bank of England is unlikely to budge just yet. Analysts are expecting today’s Budget to show that public finances are performing better than forecast – the cynics amongst you would argue that the government deliberately painted as bleak a picture as possible to start with. Today will be interesting – minutes from the Bank of England’s March meeting and the Budget, but don’t expect Mervyn King to bow to the will of the markets and hike interest rates just yet. Call in now for a live exchange rate.
 
In the euro zone, the euro slipped after hitting a 4 ½ month high against the US dollar yesterday. The single currency hit $1.4249/€1 before sliding on profit taking by investors; however it is unlikely to fall too far given rate expectations. Markets are expecting an interest rate hike next month, and given comments by key ECB policymakers this is a virtual certainty. We could see some movement against sterling depending on the outcome of the UK Budget.
 
In the USA, it was a relatively quiet day for data, but the US dollar slid across the board with the US dollar index (a measure of the currency against a ‘basket’ of other currencies) hit a 15 month low. Against the Japanese yen, the US dollar finished slightly down but a way away from the lows that saw the G7 nations intervene in the currency markets on Friday.
 
Elsewhere, the New Zealand dollar outperformed in overnight trade gaining on average 0.5% against major counterparts. This followed a report by the IMF that estimated the country’s economy would grow by 4% next year as the country begins a wide programme of rebuilding following the earthquake.

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 March 22nd, 2011 by Charles Purdy

Daily Currency Note

EURO/GBP - 1.1470
US$/GBP – 1.6337
CHF/GBP – 1.4778
CAN$/GBP – 1.5949
AUS$/GBP – 1.6163
ZAR/GBP – 11.2765
JPY/GBP
– 132.50
HKD/GBP – 12.7416
NZD/GBP – 2.2032
SEK/GBP – 10.2253
US$/EURO – 1.4239

Sterling hit a 2 week high against the US dollar and is set to test the highest levels for over a year if inflation figures today come in higher than expected. UK CPI is expected to grow to 4.2% in February, up from 4.0% in January and nearly double the Bank of England’s target level of 2.5%. This further supports the case for an interest rate hike and as such, sterling has performed well against both the US dollar and euro. Markets are likely to wait until Wednesday’s Budget and Bank of England minutes before making a full assessment of the UK’s interest rate expectations so call in now for a live exchange rate.
 
In the euro zone, the euro hit a 4 ½ month high against the US dollar yesterday, breaking above $1.42/€1 after further comments from key ECB policymakers suggested the European Central Bank will target an interest rate hike as early as next month. ECB President Trichet spoke yesterday and reaffirmed his views from the last meeting, which were that inflation is at a level that requires an interest hike. Call in now for a live exchange rate.
 
In the USA, data showed that existing home sales fell by far more than had been expected. The US housing recovery is likely to be a long, drawn out process and as such these figures do not help things. Out today, one of the Federal Reserve policymakers speaks in Dallas which could see some volatility.

Elsewhere, positive news from the Japanese nuclear reactors saw investors return to riskier, higher yielding assets. In addition, fears over another large scale intervention by the G7 nations or even the Bank of Japan on its own has kept the yen away from all-time highs. 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 March 21st, 2011 by Charles Purdy

Daily Currency Note

EURO/GBP - 1.1452
US$/GBP – 1.6239
CHF/GBP – 1.4694
CAN$/GBP – 1.5934
AUS$/GBP – 1.6186
ZAR/GBP – 11.3045
JPY/GBP
– 131.791
HKD/GBP – 12.6578
NZD/GBP – 2.2131
SEK/GBP – 10.1693
US$/EURO – 1.4173
 

Sterling is set for a busy week ahead with the Budget, Bank of England minutes, inflation and retail sales figures all being released against a backdrop of air strikes in Libya and worries over a nuclear meltdown in Japan. Risk sentiment has shifted to “war” mode as Allied forces launched air strikes exactly 8 years after the Iraq operation began in 2003. Expectations for UK data are relatively strong this week, with the Budget set to deliver a better set of public finances than initially expected. Retail sales are expected to drop marginally as is the norm at this time of year, but inflation is expected to rise to 4.2% for February. Whilst this would normally see sterling strengthen, when set against a risk averse framework caused by military action, sterling is unlikely to follow normal trends. Either way it is set to be a volatile week, so call in now for a live exchange rate.
 
In the euro zone, EU Finance ministers meet yet again in Brussels today to discuss proposals to tackle the sovereign debt crisis. This provides a final opportunity for debate before the EU Summit (24-25th March) at which any proposal is expected to be signed off. Recent proposals have gone some way to easing investor concerns, but the markets need more clarity on future bail-outs of countries. If this does not happen over the coming meetings, expect debt markets to punish that lack of clarity. After nigh-on committing to a rate hike in April, any change in tack from ECB policymakers following the situation in Japan and Libya is likely to cause euro weakness. ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet speaks today.
 
In the USA, further disappointing figures are expected from the housing market this week with existing home sales and house prices set to fall. The US housing market is a long way off from recovery. Friday sees the final figure for 4th Quarter GDP which is expected to remain the same.
 
The Australian dollar outperformed overnight against other major currencies. The risk sensitive currency was given a boost following news that 2 out of 6 of the damaged nuclear reactors in Japan had been brought under control and progress was underway on a third. 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 March 18th, 2011 by Charles Purdy

Daily Currency Note

EURO/GBP - 1.1450
US$/GBP – 1.6126
CHF/GBP – 1.4552
CAN$/GBP – 1.5828
AUS$/GBP – 1.6245
ZAR/GBP – 11.3504
JPY/GBP
– 131.68
HKD/GBP – 12.5796
NZD/GBP – 2.2164
SEK/GBP – 10.2786
US$/EURO – 1.4070
 

Sterling dropped to a 4 month low against the euro, but gained against the US dollar yesterday and overnight. The main impetus in trading yesterday was a stronger than expected bond auction in Spain which set the tone for risk appetite. Overnight we have seen a large scale co-ordinated intervention in the currency markets by the G7 nations to weaken the Japanese yen and reduce volatility in the markets. The scale and decisiveness of this move saw the Japanese yen slump by nearly 4% and has helped risk appetite return. There is no real data out today – the focus is very much on global events right now, so call in for a live exchange rate.
 
In the euro zone, the euro hit the highest level against sterling since early November and gained to above $1.40/€1 against the US dollar on the stronger than expected bond auction in Spain and interest rate hike expectations. The expectation of an April rate hike by the European Central Bank has been scaled back in recent days from total certainty, but markets are still pricing in an 80% chance of an interest rate hike next month so ensure you speak to one of the team to protect yourself.
 
In the USA, the UN Security Council authorised military action against Libya last night hours after Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi threatened to storm the rebel city of Benghazi showing “no mercy, no pity”. Whilst a full scale invasion was not part of the resolution, a no-fly zone in Libyan airspace is expected to be enforced shortly. There is no real data today, but plenty happening to cause volatility.

Elsewhere, the Japanese yen gained by 4% overnight following a combined intervention by the Bank of England and other G7 nations helped boost risk sentiment overnight, underpinning ‘riskier currencies’ such as the euro and Australian 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

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