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Posted August 13th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

EURO/GBP – 1.217
US$/GBP – 1.563
CHF/GBP – 1.645
CAN$/GBP – 1.622
AUS$/GBP – 1.737
NZD/GBP – 2.193
EURO/US$ – 1.284

It has been a mixed week for sterling which ended the week up against the euro and down against the US dollar as a fresh wave of risk aversion hit global markets. Sterling hit a new 6 month high of $1.5999/ £1 on Monday but then dropped to a 2 week low of $1.5565/£1 on Thursday. The reason for this sudden increase in risk aversion was as a result of Wednesday’s Bank of England quarterly inflation report. This was a key assessment of the new government’s spending cuts and tax hikes and as a result, growth forecasts were slashed and inflation is expected to be well within the target 2% level within 2 years. More importantly, the Bank left the door wide open for further emergency Quantitative Easing if it is needed. This left financial markets concerned over UK recovery. Poor housing data and lower consumer confidence added to sterling’s problems and the strength against the Euro was related to risk aversion caused by the US economy. Call in now to ensure you don’t lose out on further poor market movements

In the Euro zone, sterling has broken out of the tight range we have seen over the last 2 weeks against the euro after the US Federal Reserve voted to inject further money to jumpstart the flagging US recovery. This saw investors pull out of riskier euro assets and buy into the safer currencies of US dollar and sterling. As a result, the euro lost over 2% against the US dollar and 1% against sterling. Poor data from Greece and a drop in European industrial output on Thursday kept the euro under pressure. Out today, there is GDP data for the region so call in now to ensure that you don’t miss out.

Against the US dollar, sterling jumped to a 6 month high against US dollar this week, but since Monday sterling has been on a downward trend after the Federal Reserve announced further Quantitative Easing. On Wednesday, the decision was made that the US economy had underperformed for the last quarter and as such, it needed a further boost. As a result, risk aversion is back in play and there is strong demand for the safe haven US dollars despite major concerns over the US economy. Now might be a good time to secure prices to stop the market moving further against you as some analysts are predicting a return to the $1.40s. Today could be interesting too, as according to some research, an estimated 17-21 million people in the USA are afflicted by a fear of Friday the 13th (or friggatriskaidekaphobia) and the US economy loses between $800-$900m as people become too afraid to leave the house – ensure you don’t miss out by speaking to a trader today.

Elsewhere, retail sales in New Zealand came in far better than expected and as a result, the New Zealand dollar has outperformed major counterparts overnight. This countered last week’s disappointing unemployment rate and many traders questioned whether the central bank would in fact need to raise interest rates further in the year. Call in now for a live exchange rate.

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:

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Posted June 10th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

EURO/GBP – 1.210
US$/GBP – 1.459
CHF/GBP – 1.672
CAN$/GBP – 1.515
AUS$/GBP – 1.737

Sterling recovered yesterday when investors bought back into the pound after analysts stated that the pound had been oversold on Tuesday following comments by credit rating agency Fitch. In the end, the comments made by Fitch added nothing new to what the markets knew already. Concerns over the deficit and a potential credit rating agency have been around since the start of the year, and many investors have been calmed by the aggressive cost cutting measures that have already been announced by the new government. As a result, the pound hit $1.4578/ £1 and was helped along by a strong performance by stock markets as risk aversion eased slightly. The pound is likely to remain under pressure in the run up to the emergency budget on June 22nd as investors remain cautious. There is a lot of data out today, with the main UK news being the Bank of England’s interest rate decision. Whilst it is expected to remain on hold for the considerable future, there could be volatility if any comments are made regarding the £200bn asset purchasing facility. Call in now to ensure you take advantage of any movement.

In the Euro zone, there was little data out yesterday and the single currency took its lead from general sentiment and reaction to other currencies. With sterling having a strong day, the euro fell towards the 18 month low it hit last week, with the pound firmly back over the 1.21/£1 mark. Out later today, we have the European Central Bank press conference in which the bank will outline this month’s interest rate and monetary policy decision. The press conference can cause considerable volatility if any of the comments made are unexpected. In addition, there is some French unemployment data out this morning. Get in touch with a trader to make sure you are buying at the right time.

In the USA, the US dollar fell yesterday as risk appetite increased. There is a fair amount of data out today, with the trade balance expected to show a widening to $42bn. In addition, Treasury Secretary Geithner addresses the Senate on China later this afternoon. There could be some interesting discussion regarding the exchange rate ‘peg’ (i.e. fixed exchange rate) that is in place between the US dollar and Chinese yuan. The US dollar seems to be swinging back and forth at the moment on sentiment – call in now to ensure you catch it at the right time.

Elsewhere, New Zealand raised their interest rates by 0.25% to 2.75% for the first time since the credit crunch hit. A report by Credit Suisse shows that many expect another 0.25% rise at the next meeting in July. Rising interest rates mean a stronger currency – ensure you don’t miss out. The Australian dollar strengthened as data showed an unexpected jump in the number of jobs added to the economy last month. Call in to ensure that any payments you are making do not increase.

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:

Posted June 8th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

EURO/GBP – 1.211
US$/GBP – 1.447
CHF/GBP – 1.679
CAN$/GBP – 1.529
AUS$/GBP – 1.773

Sterling hit a fresh 18 month high against the euro yesterday and also strengthened against the US dollar. The pound jumped to 1.2176/ £1 as rumours circulated that investors were moving funds from German ‘bunds’ (government bonds) into UK government bonds (also known as ‘gilts’). The move to UK based investments was attributed to fears over the structure of the euro zone as concerns grew even further that the euro will see serious problems over the coming years. Following a poor start to the week due to risk aversion, the pound also rallied against the US dollar as speculation grew that Prudential had not yet finished buying back billions of US dollars worth of sterling following last week’s failed bid to purchase AIG’s Asian insurance arm. The pound jumped 0.6% this morning to hit a high of $1.4560/ £1 before settling above $1.45/£1. David Cameron spoke today about the long road ahead for the UK economy, but there was little in his statement that the markets were not aware of already, as a lot of his ‘revelations’ over incorrect Labour forecasts have been suspected by a number of analysts for many months. Out today, there is consumer confidence data released overnight. Get in touch now for a live exchange rate.

In the Euro zone, the euro hit a 4 year low against the US dollar of $1.1877/ $1 – rapidly approaching the $1.15/ 1 that many analysts have been predicting. The fall was as a result of a statement last week by a Hungarian official who stated that the country had a slim chance of avoiding a Greek style crisis. Despite the fact that Hungary is not part of the single currency, it is a key trading partner for many European countries and poor news impacts the euro significantly. There was a positive bit of data today – German factory orders unexpectedly jumped 2.8% for the month which was a welcome note, but this did little to change the poor sentiment. Out later today, there is a fair amount of ‘low-impact’ data and also German industrial production data. Get in touch now – especially if you are holding Euros and need to move them into another currency, as it could possibly get much worse.

In the USA, after a strong start to the day for the US dollar as investors moved to buy the safe haven currency, the US dollar gave back ground to most currencies with the notable exception being the euro. With a relatively quiet day on the data front, the US dollar became a gauge of risk sentiment again. The general forecast is that the US dollar is set to strengthen against the pound, and once the volatility related to Prudential has worn off, expect the US dollar to continue to strengthen. Out later today there is some economic optimism data. Get in touch now to take advantage of any spikes in the market.

Elsewhere, Australian business confidence fell for the 3rd month running according to a survey by the National Bank of Australia. This is the lowest level of confidence for nearly a year and is due to a recent super tax on commodities and also concerns that China is likely to cool demand in its economy which will have a knock on effect for the currency. Expect the Australian dollar to weaken over the coming months as it appears over valued currently – call in now for a price to ensure you take advantage.

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:

Posted June 7th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

EURO/GBP – 1.207
US$/GBP – 1.442
CHF/GBP – 1.680
CAN$/GBP – 1.534
AUS$/GBP – 1.771

Sterling fell on Friday against the US dollar but hit a 1 ½ year high against the euro as a worse than expected rise in US employment figures pointed towards a slower than expected US recovery. With Europe in the midst of a debt crisis and China looking to curb spiralling growth, many analysts were hoping that the USA could provide the driving engine of a global recovery. However, with the number of new jobs falling 100,000 short of what was expected, many analysts feel that this opens the door to a double dip recession and fresh round of risk aversion and a flight to US dollar denominated assets. Over the weekend, news was released that David Cameron is to state that the UK economy is in a far worse state than he had initially thought. With £6bn worth of cuts already announced, this is a drop in the ocean compared to the £156bn deficit. Following the Prime Minister’s statement later today, expect some volatility on the currency markets. In terms of data, there is little out aside from some yearly retail sales data. Ensure you do not lose out. Get in touch now for a live exchange rate.

In the euro zone, the region continues to suffer from poor sentiment related to the debt crisis and the euro fell to the lowest level for 4 years against the US dollar last week, dipping below $1.20/ 1. The single currency is also at the lowest level since 2001 against the Japanese yen. One survey of economists in the Daily Telegraph over the weekend suggested that the euro would be ‘dead’ within 5 years – or at the very least, certain countries would start pulling out of the currency as and when they default on loans. Out later today, there is German factory data which is expected to show a mild decline. Call in now for a live price.

In the USA, following Friday’s disappointing jobs report, the US dollar and Japanese yen have both strengthened as investors look for safe haven assets to invest in. With fears of a double dip recession – where growth turns negative after a period of recovery – the US dollar again looks set to take on the role of risk sentiment indicator. Therefore, any negative news in the UK will see sterling fall against the US dollar. In addition, perversely, any strong data for the USA will have the same effect. Call in now for a live exchange rate.

Elsewhere, the pound has strengthened marginally against the Australian dollar and other ‘commodity currencies’ this morning, as risk aversion sees traders move from ‘riskier’ investments in those countries and back into safer sterling/ US dollar assets. It might be an advisable time to look at taking advantage of the improved rate if you have payments to make. Call in now to speak to a trader and make sure 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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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