Pound/Euro & Pound/Dollar best exchange rates

Wednesday 2nd October 2013
Good afternoon. It’s been quite a volatile week in the currency markets so far, with Pound/Euro touching €1.20 on several occasions, before dropping back away as has been the case for a few weeks. Against the US Dollar, the Pound is up following the Federal shutdown. So in today’s report I’ll look at the effects on the Pound/Euro and Pound/Dollar exchange rate.


Pound/Euro rates are the best they’ve been all year, and this week touched €1.20 several times. It didn’t manage to break through however, and dropped back each time it tested the high. Today we had news from Italy and the ECB that has pulled rates back in to the mid €1.19’s.

Firstly, The European Central Bank (ECB) has kept its benchmark interest rate on hold at 0.5%. Recent economic data has shown that an economic recovery may be taking hold in the Eurozone. Eurozone factory activity grew for the third month running in September, according to a survey.

The euro also found some support on growing signs Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta will survive a confidence vote later on Wednesday.

Both of these events gave the Euro back some strength, and pulled GBP/EUR rates down. I don’t personally expect rates to climb significantly higher, due to the fact it wouldn’t be in the UK’s interest to have a high rate. Should the rate climb above €1.20 we may see the Bank of England move to weaken the Pound, as a high rate would not help our recovery due to it making our exports more expensive to the EU.

All in all it’s a great time to be buying Euros, so if you need to do this, send me a free enquiry today to discuss the current rate and find out the rates that we can offer.

Pound/US Dollar

Against the US Dollar rates are also very attractive indeed. This is partly due to Sterling strength, but has also pushed higher due to events in the States. In the U.S., concerns over a partial government shutdown kept the dollar under pressure.

The US government has begun a partial shutdown after the two houses of Congress failed to agree a new budget. The Republican-led House of Representatives insisted on delaying President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform – dubbed Obamacare – as a condition for passing a bill.

More than 700,000 federal employees face unpaid leave with no guarantee of back pay once the deadlock is over. You can read more about it here on the BBC site.

It is the first shutdown in 17 years and the dollar fell early on Tuesday. The weakening of the US Dollar has pushed rates up into the $1.62’s as you can see from the chart.

Do you need to buy or sell Dollars? Send me a free enquiry now.

Get in touch to find out more about our exchange rates.

As a specialist foreign exchange broker, the rates that I can achieve are significantly better than banks can offer, by as much as 5%. So if you need to convert funds then the savings can be considerable. In addition to our great rates, we also have expert market knowledge that can help you decide when to fix your rate.

This combined with the various range of FX contracts we offer mean that you could save thousands of pounds on your exchange.

Click here to send me a free enquiry now and find out more.

When you get in touch quote the reference AJA and mention this Blog.

Alastair Archbold

How to get the best exchange rate buying or selling Euros

Wednesday 25th September 2013
Good afternoon. The currency markets have been fairly calm recently, and exchange rates seem to have stabilised. We haven’t seen a huge amount of movement since my last post. GBP/EUR rates remain around the €1.19 level, and GBP/USD rates just above $1.60.

In today’s post I will look at economic statistics that will be released in the next week, and how they may affect exchange rates. I will also explain how I can help you achieve exchange rates that can be much better than those offered by banks and other financial institutions.

So if you need to buy Euros at the best rate, have a foreign currency you need to convert back to Sterling, are looking for the best exchange rates, or are trying to find out if the Pound will go up or down against the Euro, read on…

Pound/Euro forecast 2013

In the last few months the Pound/Euro rate has climbed nicely, peaking a few weeks ago in the mid €1.19’s. This is due to much better economic data that indicate the economy is recovering nicely. The only fly in the ointment was last week’s poor retail sales that took the wind out of the Pound’s sails a little.

Since then rates have stabilised around the €1.19 level. This is because the markets have now accepted the economy is recovering, and so good economic numbers are no longer a surprise.

So will rates go higher? Stay where they are? Drop back away?

I think that for the next few days it will be the UK GDP figures that will have an impact on rates. These are released at 09:30am tomorrow morning. I expect this to be revised up to 0.7%, and the markets have already priced this in to where the exchange rate stands. If the number is higher than this, the Pound/Euro rate may rise. If the number is worse, expect a drop in rates.

On Friday the European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi gives a speech. I think that his comments could well affect GBP/EUR rates. Put simply, if his words are positive for the Eurozone, Pound/Euro could drop, and vice versa.

For the medium to longer term, I personally don’t think that rates will climb to €1.20 and above. Why? Well it wouldn’t be in Britain’s interest to have higher exchange rates, as it would affect imports to the Eurozone due to UK goods being more expensive. 50% of our exports go to Europe, so if the rate climbed too high I would expect the Bank of England to move to weaken Sterling.

If I needed to buy Euros in the next 6 months, I would look to fix a rate on a Forward contract. This allows you to fix today’s rates which are around the best they’ve been all year. You only lodge 10% of the total to be converted, and the remainder when you instruct me to transfer your Euros. This protects you against the rate dropping away and allows you to budget.

If you need to buy Euros and want the best rates, send me a free enquiry now by clicking here.

Converting Euros back to Pounds

Rates have been moving against you due to the strong pound. If we look at the bigger picture though, last summer rates were nearly €1.30, so it’s not too bad. You don’t have to look back too far to remember when rates were €1.50+.

So if I had to convert Euros to Pounds, I would take the view that if the EU economy recovers, rates could improve. I wouldn’t want to leave things to chance though, so I would place a ‘Stop Loss’ order to convert funds if rates breached a particular level; €1.20 for example. In this way I can hold out for an improvement in the rate, but have a ‘worst case scenario’ or safety net should the rate continue to get worse.

Converting Euros back to Pounds? Click here to find out more about the rates I can offer.

Other data releases in the next week that could affect exchange rates

Thursday 26th Sept – UK GDP figures, as I mentioned above, are released at 09:30. We also have US Unemployment and Home Sales numbers in the afternoon.

Friday 27th Sept – Nothing of note from the UK, however there are some important EU releases such as the ECB president’s speech and some inflation numbers. In the United States we also have Central Bank members giving talks, so expect some volatility in GBP/USD rates. 

Monday 30th Sept – UK mortgage approvals, but I don’t think it will have much of an impact. Of more importance will be EU Inflation numbers and Retail Sales.

Tuesday 1st Oct – The new month starts with a raft of Manufacturing numbers from the EU, Britain and the United States. Could be a volatile day as we also have EU unemployment numbers.

Keen to know how data releases like this could affect the exchange rate you’re interested in? Send me a free no obligation enquiry now.

Getting the best exchange rates

That’s the easy part – the rates I can source are commercial levels up to 5% better than the banks. Send me an enquiry now to find out more. The tricky part is timing your trade so you buy at a good level. There’s no way to predict the way exchange rates may move, but what I can do is explain what is causing the movement, and my thoughts on how things may move in the future.

It is of course up to you to decide when to fix your rate, but by taking advantage of my expertise gained from over 10 years in the financial services industry, you can make an informed choice of what to do.

Why not take the advantage of a free consultation by clicking here and sending me an enquiry. I will personally contact you within 24 hours to discuss your requirements, run over your options, and give you an idea of the rates I can offer.

Click here to send me an enquiry or call me today. You may be very surprised how much you can save. I look forward to hearing from you.

Alastair Archbold

Pound falls after poor UK Retail Sales.

Thursday 19th September 2013
Good afternoon. Since my last post, we’ve seen quite a bit of volatility in the currency markets. I mentioned a few days ago that the markets had been flat, and that I predicted the Bank of England (BOE) minutes and UK Retail Sales would probably cause some movements in the value of the Pound/Euro rate, and indeed they did. We have also seen some news from the US Federal Reserve that has caused a big change in GBP/USD rates.

So let’s take a look at what’s been happening…

Bank of England minutes push the Pound higher

Yesterday we saw that the Bank of England has upgraded its growth forecast for the UK economy when they released the latest minutes from their Monetary Policy Committee. You can read the minutes here if you so wish!

The minutes show that third-quarter growth is expected to be 0.7%, up from 0.5%. The minutes also show that the MPC voted unanimously to keep interest rates and quantitative easing (QE) on hold this month.

It had a big impact on the value of the Pound, which rose against other currencies. Climbing to €1.1960 against the Euro – around the best it’s been all year. The gains were not to last however, as today’s UK Retail Sales news pulled the Pound down again. More on that in a moment.

US FED weakens the US Dollar significantly

Overnight, the US central bank unexpectedly said it would not begin scaling back its massive economic stimulus programme until the US economy had improved further. The bank also cut its growth forecast. So pretty much the exact opposite of what the Bank of England did.

The result was the opposite also – the Dollar weakened significantly, pushing the GBP/USD rates to as high as $1.6150 – the highest it’s been all year.

As with the Pound/Euro rate, the all year highs were short lived due to some poor UK economic news…

UK Retail Sales disappoint

This morning at 09:30am the latest UK retail sales numbers were released. Most analysts thought they would show a rise of 0.4%. Not to be – the actual figure showed a drop of 0.9% and this was a big surprise.
The currency markets don’t like surprises, and as Retail Sales are seen as an indicator of consumer confidence, and therefore the economy as a whole, the Pound lost quite a bit of value.

As you can see from today’s graph, the Pound fell as soon as the number was released, pulling GBP/EUR rates to €1.1860 and GBP/USD rates to $1.6090.

Getting the best exchange rates

I mentioned in my last post that rates seemed to have levelled off, and indeed it looks like recent highs may well have been a peak. The current buying levels are still very good however.

So if you need to convert Pounds to another currency, or convert a foreign currency back to Sterling, you should get in touch with me to find out the rates that I can offer.

I provide commercial rates of exchange to both private and corporate clients that are much better than banks can offer. Get in touch with me today to find out more.

  • Want the best exchange rates?
  • Keen to know if the rate may go up or down?
  • Can’t decide when to fix your exchange rate?
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Pound remains at €1.19 vs Euro, near 8 month high

Tuesday 17th September 2013 
Good afternoon. Sterling remains strong, however has failed to rise significantly above the €1.19 level against the Euro. GBP/EUR rates remain around the best since January. The Pound has however hit an 8 month high against the US Dollar after Lawrence Summers, perceived by the market as more likely to favour a quick scaling back of monetary stimulus, pulled out from the race to be the next Fed chief. So in today’s report: 

  • UK inflation drops weakening Pound 
  • Pound/Euro remains close to best it’s been since January 
  • US Fed member drops out of race to be FED chief, weakening US Dollar 
  • German Economic figures better than expected, weakening Euro. 
  • UK Retail Sales and BoE Minutes this week expected to affect Pound 
  • How to get the best exchange rates 

UK inflation drops weakening Pound 

Figures this morning showed a slight fall in inflation, which has pulled the Pound lower. Inflation measured by the consumer prices index (CPI) fell to 2.7% in the year to August, from 2.8% in July. 

CPI is important because it is the measure targeted by the Bank of England’s interest rate-setters, while the RPI is used for annual adjustments in some benefits and rail fares. The Bank targets CPI inflation of 2%, but is currently holding off raising interest rates to control inflation because the unemployment rate is too high. 

A high figure usually strengthens the Pound, and because the number was slightly lower than expected the Pound weakened slightly, pulling down exchange rates. 

Find out more about our exchange rates

German Economic figures better than expected, weakening Euro. 

 Also pulling GBP/EUR rates down was better than expected numbers from Germany. Economic sentiment is better than analysts had been predicting, and so this gave the Euro strength, making it more expensive. As a result we have seen GBP/EUR rates fall slightly. 

Pound/Euro remains at a good level 

As you can see from the chart, the Pound/Euro rate remains close to the best it’s been since January. It’s been at this level for a week or two now, and for a few days it rose above the €1.19 level, however the figures mentioned above have pulled it back to €1.19 again. 

This is a very good buying level, but seems to have levelled off and we haven’t seen any significant gains. The main thing that I think will move the rates next will be tomorrow’s minutes from the Bank of England, and UK Retail Sales on Thursday. 

Tomorrow the BoE will release its minutes, showing how the members voted at their recent decision to keep interest rates and QE on hold. They will be interesting because it will show what was discussed, and could indicate future decisions on QE and interest rates. If there are any indications any of the members wanted more QE, we may see the Pound fall. 

Retail Sales on Thursday are important as they are a good barometer of overall economic activity. I expect the figures to show a month on month gain of 0.5%. If the actual figure is higher than this, then expect exchange rates to rise. If the number is lower, then we will probably see the Pound fall in value. 

If you are looking for the best exchange rates, click here to get a free quote.

US Fed member drops out of race to be FED chief, weakening US Dollar 

The Pound rose to an 8 month high against the US Dollar earlier this week, after Lawrence Summers, perceived by the market as more likely to favour a quick scaling back of monetary stimulus, pulled out from the race to be the next Fed chief. The dollar fell broadly as it means it will probably be Janet Yellen that takes over the next chair of the Federal Reserve – she is expected to rapidly reduce U.S. bond-buying. This meant the US Dollar weakened, became cheaper to purchase, and GBP/USD rates rose. 

Due to the poor inflation numbers today however, we’ve seen the rate drop back away. 

Are you looking for the best exchange rates? 

I update this blog to keep my existing and potential clients abreast of what is happening with exchange rates. If you need to convert Pounds into another currency, or indeed move a foreign currency back into Sterling, I can help you achieve the best possible exchange rates. 

The rates I can achieve are up to 5% better than banks can offer, so if you are buying or selling property abroad, need to top up your Euro account, or need to pay for goods or services in a foreign currency, why not find out what rates I can offer. 

When you get in touch, ask for Alastair Archbold and quote the reference ‘AJA’ to receive reduced transfer costs. 

I look forward to hearing from you.

Will the Pound get higher against the Euro?

Tuesday 10th September 2013
Good afternoon. Since my post last week, the Pound continued to rise, however now seems to have hit the peak and we haven’t seen further gains. In today’s post I’ll have a look at recent economic data, how it’s affected exchange rates, and what to look out for in the next week that is likely to move the currency markets. In today’s report:

  • Pound fails to break through €1.19 level
  • UK economy is turning the corner
  • US jobs data disappoints, sending GBP/USD higher
  • Upcoming data that might push rates higher or lower

Has Pound/Euro peaked or will it go higher? 

The last few months have been good for the Pound, with lots of good economic data giving Sterling strength, and help exchange rates recover close to where they were back in January. At the end of last week the GBP/EUR rate peaked at just over €1.19.

Since then things seem to have stabilised. We saw rates slip away to €1.18 yesterday, and today we have seen a mild recovery to €1.1850 against the Euro, and so the rise has ended. But does this mean it’s the peak or will rates continue to climb to €1.20 and above?

Firstly let me say that nobody can predict the markets. If I could then I would be a billionaire and sat on my yacht rather than sat at my desk on the trading floor! What I can do however is explain what has moved the market, and the arguments for what could move the rate up or down in the coming weeks and months.

Want to discuss when to fix your rate?

Sterling is range-bound between 1.18 & 1.19

So, last week Sterling pulled back from a 4 month high against the euro on after some poor UK data releases. UK industrial output fell short of expectations and the trade deficit unexpectedly widened sharply. The figures mean that the recent consistently strong UK data has come to an end, and it has also led investors to bring forward expectations of when interest rates would rise.

Also last week the Bank of England made no new attempt to talk down borrowing costs and this means that rates could rise much sooner than the central bank has flagged, possibly as early as late 2014. By contrast, the European Central Bank said it was ready to lower interest rates. This has helped the Pound remain strong and the Euro weak. 

The UK economy is “turning a corner”, Chancellor George Osborne has said in a speech in London. Mr Osborne cited “tentative signs of a balanced, broad based and sustainable recovery”, but stressed it was still the “early stages” and “plenty of risks” remained.

Also helping the pound are recent surveys on UK manufacturing and services which indicate economic growth may accelerate in the second half of the year. So on paper the UK economy is looking good, so why isn’t the Pound rising any more?

The currency markets move on rumour, and as the economy is expected to continue to recover, this is already priced in to the market, so even if we keep getting good data it’s not going to much of a surprise, and the market now seems to have peaked and is unable to break through the €1.19 level.

If you are buying or selling Euros, find out about our rates by clicking here.

So if you are buying Euros, do you fix a rate now or wait?

Ultimately only you can make this decision. Given however that rates are close to the best they’ve been since the end of January, I think that holding out for a higher rate could easily mean you lose out on the current levels should we see the Pound weaken again. By hanging on, you could be holding out for an inch and risk losing a yard So if I needed Euros in the next 6 months I would do one of two things.

One option is to fix the rate now. It’s a very good rate, and means you are taking advantage of the recent rise in the value of the Pound. Even if you don’t need your Euros now, you can fix the rate for up to 2 years with a Forward contract, and only lodge 10% of your Sterling now, the remainder when you want the Euros transferred. 

The second option is a Stop Loss order. If you are hoping the rate will go higher, this allows you to do this but not risk losing out should the market move against you. This works by placing a lower level, 1.17 for example, and should the market drop below this we automatically buy your currency and fix your rate. 

In this way you can continue taking advantage of any gains, but have a ‘worst case scenario’ or safety net so you know the worst rate you will get should Sterling start to drop. 

Click here to send me a free enquiry if you need the best exchange rates. 

Pound/Dollar rates rise

In addition to the good UK data mentioned above, 2 other things have helped the Pound/Dollar rate rise. Firstly we had some poor US jobs data that has weakened the USD making it cheaper to buy.  

The mediocre jobs report may add fuel to the argument that the US economic recovery is not yet robust enough to sustain itself without the additional help of the Fed – more QE would mean the Dollar could weaken further. 

Also it now looks like military action in Syria may not happen, and if it does it’s some way off. This has added some stability to the markets, oil and commodities have fallen, and investors have moved away from the safety of the Dollar and into riskier assets, all of which mean a higher GBP/USD rate. 

Economic data for the next week

If I was buying or selling currency in the next week, there are a few data releases I would be keeping an eye on:

WednesdayWe see UK jobs and unemployment data, which could affect the Pound depending on whether it’s better or worse than expected. 

ThursdayUK inflation is released today, and because it can impact interest rates, it often affects exchange rates. Also today we have a speech by the ECB president Mario Draghi, and his comments often affect GBP/EUR rates. US unemployment data is also released today. 

Friday US Retail sales and Inflationary measures may affect GBP/USD rates. 

If you need to buy or sell currency, would like to find out about our rates, or would be interested in discussing the market to help you decide when to fix your rate, click here to send me a free no obligation enquiry. 

Pound/Euro at 3 month high: (September forecast)

Monday 2nd September 2013 
Good afternoon. It’s been a good start to September for Sterling, with further strong economic numbers giving the Pound a boost to its highest against the Euro in 3 months. In today’s post I will take a look at the recent good run for the Pound, and also whether exchange rates will go up or down in the coming weeks and months. 

I will also look at UK growth forecasts, the effect the new Bank of England governor has had, and also how any strike on Syria might affect the currency markets. So in today’s report: 

  • UK Manufacturing lifts Sterling. 
  • Pound/Euro rates at a 3 month high 
  • UK growth forecasts looking good 
  • UK and EU Interest Rates
  • How military action in Syria could affect exchange rates 

UK manufacturing lifts GBP/EUR to a 3 month high 

UK manufacturing has continued to grow, and is now ‘booming’ according to a survey by the British Chamber of Commerce. The sector has seen its strongest growth in activity for over 2 years, and has now seen 5 consecutive months of growth. 

This is very good news for the UK economy, and indeed analysts have welcomed the figures, adding that the data supported growing optimism over prospects for the economy as a whole. The economy appeared to be “running way ahead” of the forecasts, Mr Wood said, and this also strengthens the view somewhat that interest rates could go up within a year or so. 

The effect on the currency markets was a positive one for anyone that needs to convert Sterling to a foreign currency. As you can see from the chart below, this caused a spike in GBP/EUR exchange rates at 09:30am when the data was released. 

Exchange rates to buy Euros are now at their highest in 3 months, so if you need to buy Euros then now is a good time to consider your options and decide if you want to fix a rate while levels are very attractive. 

UK growth forecasts are up 

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has sharply upped its 2013 growth forecast, saying the economy is gaining momentum. This is another reason for the good performance of Sterling at the moment. It’s important to note however that the BCC also warned of overseas risks to the more positive outlook, notably those posed by the Eurozone, the Middle East and China’s slowdown. 

“Unfortunately the recovery is not yet secure,” said BCC head John Longworth. “We have had false dawns in recent years and although this upturn appears to be on stronger ground, we must be aware that complacency could lead to setbacks,”. So while rates are good at the moment, the recovery in the UK still depends on global factors, and it wouldn’t take much for rates to drop again – remember it was only a month or so ago rates were at a 2 year low, so if I needed to buy Euros in the next 3 months, I would consider fixing the rate sooner rather than later. 

Find out how competitive our exchange rates are. Click here. 

Bank of England’s MPC receives praise 

The Bank of England (BoE) Monetary Policy Committee has received praise for its recent adoption of “forward guidance” – providing explicit advance warning of when interest rates might rise – which the BCC said helped provide businesses with more confidence to plan and invest. You can read a very good detailed article on Forward Guidance by the BBC’s Stephanie Flanders here.  ECB and 

BoE & ECB Interest rates 

This Thursday both the Bank of England and European Central Bank announce their decision on whether interest rates will change, and for the BoE, whether they will pursue any more Quantitative Easing.

Now I don’t expect any change from either bank, and no further QE. What will be interesting however is any comments that come along with the decision – these could well affect Pound/Euro rates depending if comments are perceived as positive or negative by the markets, so this is something to keep an eye on should you have an imminent requirement to buy or sell currency. 

Syria & the effect on exchange rates

The on-going civil war in Syria has been dominating the headlines over the last week. At one point it seemed there would be imminent strikes against the Syrian government, however following the vote in the UK parliament that effectively rules us out of any action, it seems the US has followed suit and are seeking approval from congress before launching any action. 

So how would any strikes affect exchange rates? Should the US go ahead with France and launch missile strikes, then the first effect this would have on the markets would be an increase in commodity prices, oil in particular. For the currency markets, the uncertainty any strikes would create would probably strengthen safe haven currencies like the US Dollar and Swiss Franc. Conversely riskier currencies such as the Pound could weaken. 

So should we see an escalation in the middle east, I would expect Pound/USD rates to drop as investors seek safe haven currencies. 

Do you want to achieve the best possible exchange rates? 

If you are looking to buy or sell a foreign currency, and want to get the best possible rate you can, then send me a free enquiry today. I can discuss your particular requirements, explain which way the rate may move, and explain the different options you can consider. 

In this way you can make sure you’re making an informed decision, and when you decide to go ahead and fix your rate, the levels I can source are up to 5% better than banks can offer. 

So how much could you save? Click here to send me a free enquiry and find out today.

How to get the best Pound/Euro exchange rates

Wednesday 21st August 2013 
Good afternoon everybody. Pound/Euro rates have steadied since my last post, and remain a little above the €1.17 level. Against the Dollar, Sterling sits just under $1.57. This is around 2 month highs in both cases. In today’s post I will look at how recent economic releases have affected exchange rates, and whether Pound/Euro rates are likely to go up or down in the coming weeks. In today’s report: 

  • UK Public Sector borrowing worse than expected, but Pound remains strong
  • Greece may need another bailout, how would this affect GBP/EUR? 
  • Growth forecasts are increased for the UK, supporting Sterling 
  • US Fed minutes this evening may affect exchange rates 
  • Getting the best exchange rates

UK borrowing disappoints, but Pound remains strong

I’m going to start in the UK today. This morning we saw the latest Public Sector borrowing figures, and they were actually quite a bit worse than expected. Despite the numbers disappointing, Sterling has not weakened, and in fact has risen slightly against the Euro. 

This is partly due to the fact the data remains subject to revision. For example, the £823m surplus recorded in July last year was originally reported as a deficit, so the markets haven’t taken much notice of the numbers. 

Indeed financial analysts played down the importance of the figure, with many saying they still expected to see steady improvement in the government’s finances over the rest of the year, as the economy continued to recover. So due to this, the data did little to take the steam out of rally that has seen sterling rise 3% against the dollar and 2.3% against the euro this month, driven by improving UK economic data that has suggested interest rates may rise sooner than the Bank of England has indicated. 

Britain is doing quite well. The economy grew 0.6% in the second quarter of this year, up from a 0.3% rate during the previous three months, with the faster pace expected by economists to continue into the autumn. Also helping the Pound is he CBI business lobby group, which has increased its forecast for UK economic growth for 2013 from 1% to 1.2%. 

It also increased its forecast growth for 2014, from 2% to 2.3%, saying that the forward guidance on interest rates recently given by new Bank of England governor Mark Carney should add to positive sentiment. 

“The economy has started to gain momentum and confidence is picking up, but it’s still early days,” said CBI director-general John Cridland. 

Recent figures and surveys have shown activity in manufacturing, services, construction and the housing sectors all gathering pace. The most recent official figures for the UK economy from the Office for National Statistics showed it grew by 0.6% in the three months to June. The figure means that the economy has now recouped more than half the 7.2% of output lost in the 2008-09 recession. 

So all in all, things are looking much better for Sterling than they have of late. If you look at the chart showing GBP/EUR rates over the last 3 months, you can see the decline has been reversed, and exchange rates are looking much better for those that need to buy Euros. 

Looking for the best exchange rates for Euros? Click here. 

Another Greek Bailout on the cards?

Over in the Eurozone, debate about whether Greece will need another bailout has intensified, after the EU’s economic and monetary commissioner declined to rule it out. Greece has received two bailouts totalling about 240bn euros (£205bn). A condition of the current bailout deal is that Greece makes cutbacks and restructures its economy. 

Yesterday Germany’s Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, said: “There will have to be another programme in Greece.” The Euro weakened a little, but not too much because the news is not a surprise. Economists have long predicted a third rescue package for Greece, which is struggling to control its mounting debt burden as the economy shrinks under tough austerity measures. 

US FOMC minutes this evening 

The next main data release that will affect exchange rates is the latest FOMC minutes which are released this evening. Investors braced for a U.S. Federal Reserve report which may shed light on when it will trim its QE stimulus policy. 

Confirmation that the Federal Open Market Committee is veering towards slowing its bond buying programme in September could see strengthen the Dollar, which would probably cause GBP/USD rates to drop, however if we see a more cautious approach by the Fed, I would expect to see the US Dollar weaken, pushing GBP/USD rates higher. 

It will likely affect other currencies such as GBP/EUR, as sentiment towards the US Dollar often drives other currency pairs due to its safe haven status.

Do you want to get the best exchange rates? 

Hopefully my blog is a useful resource for those that are keen to know what moves exchange rates, in order to help decide when to fix an exchange rate. I have been a commercial foreign exchange broker for 8 years, and have a very detailed knowledge of the currency markets. 

I currently work for one of the UK’s leading foreign exchange brokerages, and the rates I can source are up to 5% better than banks of other brokers can offer. 

  • So, are you looking for the best exchange rates?
  • Keen to know when to buy your currency? 
  • Worried about rates moving against you? 
  • Want to know what your options are? 
  • Unsure how data releases may affect your exchange rate? 

If you have considered any of the above, then I think you would find a free consultation with me very useful indeed. It’s free and carries no obligation at all, and simply means you can discuss your requirements with an expert. In this way you can learn about all the options available to you and make an informed choice on when to fix your rate. 

And of course when you decide to do this, the rates you can achieve using my services could save you thousands of Pounds. 

Make your free enquiry with me now by clicking here. 

I look forward to hearing from you.

Pound/Euro at 2 month high following unemployment figures

Wednesday 14th August 2013 
Good afternoon everyone. Since my last post, Sterling has continued to make gains, helped by strong unemployment figures this morning. In today’s report I’ll have a look at this which has caused the gains for the Pound, the latest news that the EU has emerged from recession after 18 months, and what the latest Bank of England minutes mean for exchange rates in the short to medium term. 

So in today’s report: 

  • Strong Unemployment figures cause Pound to rise
  • Pound/Euro at 2 month high 
  • EU exits recession after 18 months, but Euro fails to strengthen 
  • Latest minutes from the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee 
  • Data for the next 7 days that may affect exchange rates 

Strong Unemployment figures cause Pound to rise 

The latest UK unemployment figures were released this morning, they made good reading and the Pound has risen as a result. While unemployment held steady, which had been expected, the outlook was much brighter, as the number of people looking for work fell 4,000 to 2.51 million in the second quarter, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics. 

Jobless claims declined for the ninth straight month by 29,200 to 1.44 million, taking the rate to 4.3pc, the lowest since February 2009 and the number of people in employment rose by 69,000 in the three months to June to 29.78 million, compared to the three months to March. 

So what does it all mean for exchange rates? Well, today’s unemployment figure has added significance after the Bank of England Governor Mark Carney last week announced that interest rates would not be raised from their record low of 0.5pc until the unemployment rate fell from its current level of 7.8pc to below 7pc. Mr Carney said it meant that more than 750,000 extra jobs would have to be created before the end of 2016 for rates to start rising again. 

As the latest numbers are heading in the right direction, it gave Sterling a decent boost, and helped push exchange rates through the €1.17 level vs. the Euro, which is the highest in 2 months.

If you’re looking for the best Pound/Euro rates, send me a free enquiry now by clicking here. 

EU exits recession after 18 months, but Euro fails to strengthen 

The Eurozone has emerged from recession after a record 18 months of economic contraction. Their GDP grew by 0.3% in the second quarter of 2013, slightly ahead of forecasts, the Eurostat agency said. However, the overall figure masks the mixed economic fortunes among the countries that make up the 17-country Eurozone area. 

It didn’t have much impact on exchange rates though. To be honest they were expected to exit recession anyway, and while it’s good news, it was already priced in to the market. This meant the Euro did not strengthen any further, and the markets brushed off the data. There was no impact on Pound/Euro rates. 

Should the EU continue to post robust figures however, we could see the single currency start to gain strength. This may cause GBP/EUR rates to drop back away. 

Worried about GBP/EUR rates dropping? Send me a free enquiry to discuss your options. 

Latest minutes from the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee 

Bank of England governor Mark Carney received almost complete support for his new forward guidance policy from his colleagues on the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). The latest MPC minutes show eight out of nine of the MPC’s members voted for the strategy at its August meeting. 

Meanwhile, all nine MPC members agreed that the £375bn asset purchasing programme, known as quantitative easing (QE), should remain in place and that interest rates should hold steady at 0.5%. 

Again mostly this was expected, but the unanimous support did give the Pound a boost, compounding the unemployment numbers – the net result was a good rise in Pound/Euro rates today. 

Want to take advantage of the good Pound/Euro rates? Send me a free no obligation enquiry today. 


Pound/Euro is now at a 2 month high. There is still much uncertainty, so if I needed to buy Euros I would strongly consider fixing a rate now to take advantage of the gains, and protect against a possible downturn in rates. With the EU exiting recession, more good news could make the Euro expensive again. 
For those selling Euros back to Pounds, in recent weeks it was a 2 year high. We’re drifting away from that now, with the Pound gaining lots of strength in the last few weeks, and rates are now moving against you. 

 To get the best exchange rates, timing is very important. IN order to get the timing right, you need a good currency broker on your side to explain what is moving the market, your options, and different ways to approach getting the best exchange rate. 

If you need the best rates of exchange, send me a free enquiry now by clicking here. I can discuss your requirements and help you get rates that are up to 5% better than banks offer. 

Are you looking for the best exchange rates? Send me a free enquiry now.

Data for the next 7 days that may affect exchange rates 

Below I list the main data releases for the next 7 days which I think could have an effect on exchange rates. If you would like to know the specific data releases that might affect the currency you need to buy or sell, send me a free enquiry now. 

Thursday 15thQuite quiet today as EU markets are closed for Assumption day. In the UK we have some Retail Sales figures which are a pretty good barometer of overall economic activity. Other than that all data is stateside: inflation data, Jobless Claims and Industrial Production. 

Friday 16thNothing of note from the UK today. We do have Trade Balance numbers and CPI data from the Eurozone, so we may see some movement in GBP/EUR rates despite no UK data. In the USA we have Building permits and a consumer sentiment survey. 

Monday 19th Unusually there is no data of note today. At all. 

Tuesday 20thAgain quiet in the UK, in fact the only interesting data is Import and Export numbers from Germany along with some minor German inflation data. 

Wednesday 21stUK Public sector borrowing figures are released today. Also we have the FOMC minutes that could affect GBP/USD exchange rates. 

Click here to send me a free no obligation enquiry today. 

Sterling surges higher as Mark Carney issues Forward Guidance

Wednesday 7th August 2013 
Good afternoon. Today has been extremely volatile on the currency markets with Sterling surging higher against other currencies. The new Bank of England governor Mark Carney addressed Parliament and delivered his Quarterly inflation report. 

After months of decline for Sterling, the Pound has surged against other currencies today, so in my post this afternoon I will analyse what he said, the impact on the economy, why it caused exchange rates to rise, and what this means for exchange rates going forwards. 

‘Forward Guidance’ from the Bank of England 

The new Bank of England (BoE) governor Mark Carney today addressed parliament, giving his quarterly inflation report, his first since taking over the helm last month. It was already widely expected he would outline his new policy of ‘Forward Guidance’ and indicate that interest rates would remain low for some time. 

How did it affect exchange rates? 

As you can clearly see from the chart, when the speech started at 10:30am, Sterling immediately dropped quite significantly, as had been expected. You can see the dip at 10:30am this morning when Pound/Euro rates fell from 1.1530 to 1.1440.

The dip was not to last however, and very quickly the Pound recovered its losses, and kept on going. Again looking at the chart you can see the exchange rate rocketing higher, above where it started the day, and eventually levelled out around 1.1645 against the Euro. 

Click here to get a quote on our commercial exchange rates. 

So why did the rate drop, and then make a huge recovery? 

Firstly the reason it dropped was speculation that he would indeed say interest rates would remain low for some time. Market analysts, myself included, have been saying for some time that if he did indeed say interest rates would remain low, expect Sterling to drop, and initially this is indeed what we saw. 

The reason there was such a massive bounce back was the terms that he outlined as parameters for when rates would start to rise. He pledged to keep them on hold until the official unemployment rate fell below 7%. This is his ‘forward guidance’. Under its central forecast, though, the Bank does not expect unemployment to fall to 7pc until September 2016. So in effect, he’s saying interest rates will remain low for another 3 years. 

So you would have expected the Pound to fall further on this news, however Economists said traders were expecting a much tougher target than 7 % unemployment, hence the reason for today’s robust performance for Sterling. The Institute of Economic Affairs said Mr. Carney’s forward guidance was “the most dangerous development in UK monetary policy since the late 1980s”. So experts are mixed on the effect it will have. 

So what does this mean for the economy? 

If rates do remain on hold until 2016, they will have been at their record low for nearly 8 years. The last time this happened was the 12 years that spanned the Second World War and the period of austerity that followed. 

The economy does seem to be recovering however. Recently we’ve seen good Retail Sales, good growth figures, strong manufacturing and industrial production, good growth forecasts and decent house price increases. And although welcoming the recovery, Mr. Carney stressed that it “remains weak by historical standards”. 

“There is understandable relief that the UK has begun growing again. But there should be little satisfaction. Much is at stake as we seek to secure the recovery and return inflation to target,” he said. 

The Bank expects inflation to remain at 2.9pc this year, fall to 2.4pc by the end of 2014 and hit 2pc in late 2015. The Bank stressed that it will keep the stock of quantitative easing steady at £375bn until the end of 2016 as well, and could increase it if the economy slipped backwards. 

You can read a detailed report here on the BBC website of what he said and the impact on the economy.

What does this mean for exchange rates? 

Right now this means good buying opportunities for anyone that is buying a foreign currency with Sterling. The gains are a surprise to the market, and so if you need to buy currency, consider taking advantage of the gains we have seen. We can fix your exchange rate for up to 2 years into the future, and you only lodge 10% of what you want to convert now. This protects you from the rate falling. 

Moving forwards much will depend on economic figures. If they start to disappoint, then we could still see further QE from the BoE which would cause the Pound to fall back away. 

Need Euros at the best exchange rate? Send me a free enquiry. 

For those selling converting currency back in to Sterling, rates are now moving against you. A week ago the Euro to Pound rate was close to a 2 year high, with Forward guidance in place and the economy recovering, further good figures could mean the rate gets worse for you. 

Selling property abroad and want the best Euro to Pound rate? Make a free enquiry now and find out about your options.

How to get the Best Exchange Rates

The first step is to send me a free enquiry by clicking here. I can discuss your requirements in detail, run over the options you have available, and help you decide on the optimal time to convert your funds. This means you can make an informed choice on what is best for you.

When you decide to fix a rate, the levels I can achieve are incredibly good commercial rates, that are up to 5% better than you can achieve at banks and other financial institutions. 

Send me a free enquiry now and find out how good our exchange rates are.

Why has Pound fallen against Euro? JUL/AUG 2013

Wednesday 31st July 2013
Good afternoon.  Sterling has not had a very good run in the last few weeks, and exchange rates have continued to fall since my last post. This is a bit of a surprise, as the most recent economic figures for the UK have actually been pretty good. It’s all down to speculation on what the Bank of England will do with interest rates, and in today’s report I will explain why the Pound has been falling against the Euro to the lowest rate since February. In today’s post:

  • Why the Pound has fallen against the Euro
  • How will the Bank of England move forwards?
  • What data releases could affect rates in the next week?
  • Find out how good our exchange rates are. 

Why the Pound has fallen against the Euro? 

The Pound has fallen to its lowest levels since February, and at the time of writing GBP/EUR rates sit at 1.1425. Just a few months ago rates were approaching 1.20. In some respects it’s quite a surprise the Pound has fallen as there have been some decent economic numbers out of the UK. Let’s take a look at these in more detail… 

Above shows the decline in GBP/EUR rates over the last 3 months. Last week we saw the latest UK GDP figures. These showed that the UK economy is “on the mend” after figures showed it grew by 0.6% in the three months to June.  The latest growth estimate implies that the economy has now recouped almost half of its total 7.2% contraction during the 2008-09 recession, with output remaining 3.3% below its pre-recession peak. 

Great, so good growth means a strong Pound, right?

Not necessarily, and this hasn’t been the case this week. The growth figure was in line with market expectations, and share prices on the London Stock Exchange did not react to the news. However, the pound did drop on the currency markets. This was partly due to some market participants believing the data may support further monetary intervention by the Bank of England. Mostly though, the numbers gave little reason to buy the Pound. Some thought the figure would be above 0.6% and because the numbers weren’t a surprise, Sterling lost value. 

This trend has continued with the Pound falling most days since, mainly due to speculation on what the Bank of England will do to keep growth going.

Are you buying or selling Euros? Worried about rates moving against you? Looking for the very best exchange rates? Click here to send me a free no obligation enquiry now. 

How will the Bank of England move forwards?

At the most recent bank of England meeting all 9 members voted against more Quantitative Easing. This indicates that in the short term at least, there will not be any further money pumped in to the economy. Again you would think this would strengthen the Pound, but you have to look at what other tools are left in the box now QE is off the table. 

The tool kit is very thin to say the least! Another good explanation for the drop in rates is speculation the Bank of England are going to announce tomorrow (Thursday) some “guidance” on the future of interest rates; specifically, that it will set out a framework to keep rates at near-zero levels for up to 4 years. So, investors are dumping the Pound ahead of this. Keeping rates at near zero is all they can do. 

This would mean little return for anyone holding Sterling, and so despite better economic figures, the Pound has fallen as a result, and could well continue to do so. At 12pm tomorrow we will see the latest decision from the BoE on interest rates and QE. 

While I don’t expect any change for either, watch for any accompanying statement from the governor that may dictate future moves, as this could impact on the value of the Pound. In 2 weeks’ time we will see the minutes from tomorrow’s meeting to see how the 9 members voted, and if all 9 are still against QE. 

Click here to get a free quote on exchange rates.

What data releases could affect rates in the next week? 

Thursday 1st August – The BoE and ECB both announce their interest rate decision. There are also some inflation numbers from the Eurozone. IN the USA we have jobless numbers and inflation data. 

Friday 2nd – We will see UK House prices today, which are a good barometer of overall economic activity. Most data today however is from the USA – Non Farm Payrolls, Earnings and Unemployment data. 

Monday 5th – Lots of numbers from the Eurozone today, mostly comprising inflation, but also Retail Sales and investor confidence measures. The UK releases its Retail Sales numbers. 

Tuesday 6th – Today is busy in the UK, with Industrial Production and Manufacturing numbers being release, in addition to Trade Balance numbers. At 2pm we have a GDP estimate, which could well move the Pound. 

Wednesday 7th – It’s the Eurozone’s turn for Import and Export numbers today. The only UK data of note is House Price data. And the Bank of England inflation report. 

To find out how data releases could affect the currency you need to buy or sell, click here for a free consultation. 

Find out how good our exchange rates are. 

  • Are you buying Euros? 
  • Converting Euros back to Sterling? 
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In addition to better rates, we can also help with various contract types that can help protect against adverse rate movements, or help you target a rate not currently achievable. Most importantly though is my market knowledge. With over 10 years in the FX industry, I can help explain what is moving exchange rates in order to help you make an informed decision on when to fix a level. 

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