Posted tagged ‘compare exchange rates’

Seven-Week High for Pound

April 15, 2010

The pound is so far having a good old week.  Having reached a high against the US dollar on Wednesday, it reached a 7-week high today after a poll showed that the opposition Conservative party have a clearer lead against the Labour party.

In the past weeks and months, a hung parliament has looked ever more likely with neither party showing signs of being a clear majority winner.  The Tories have always managed to stay slightly ahead but the level shrunk until the future of Britain’s political leader was less and less clear.  International investors have been avoiding the pound with the cloud of uncertainty hanging over the UK and it is likely that the overall shakiness will remain until the general election takes place in early May.

Britain has actually been enjoying a rather positive week in general, with a lashing of good data announced in the trade deficit and retail sectors.  Does this mean that the economy is picking up quicker than expected?  Can Britons plan their future with a Conservative government and will the budget deficit be cleaned up under their leadership?

Tonight on British television will be a live debate between party leaders – how each performs could have a significant effect on consumer, economic and fiscal sentiment.

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Euro Saved by Greece Bail Package?

March 26, 2010

EU leaders have reached an agreement to help Greece with a package of €22 billion.  The country, with a vast deficit which is eating on the euro currency has, in the past months, been at the centre of EU debates.

While the currency exchange market was speculating on Greece’s future and that of some other Eurozone countries, the euro took enormous pressure.  Indeed, there were even record amounts of euro -selling from international investors, enough to make a few EU leaders call for an end to over-selling and the damage that speculation can do.

Now, Greece will receive a boost to fix its problems, but is it enough?  Currency investors certainly seemed to be mollified by the news as the euro rose by around half a cent on the news against the US dollar and by nearly half a penny against the pound.

Pound Stable…for Now

March 11, 2010

The pound managed to stay flat against the US dollar and the euro in this morning’s trades, as currency exchange traders lost momentum on sterling sell-off.

However, more weakness is forecast for the pound…here are some the reasons why:

Gordon Brown VS David Cameron – no clear winner

The upcoming general election looks set to result in a ‘hung parliament’ – a situation which means no party is a clear winner over the other.

Weak UK Economy

It seems as though fresh data is announced every week, and lately much of it isn’t exactly ideal.  The most recent numbers to cause investors to avoid the pound were those showing worse-than-expected manufacturing output.

Poor Public Finances

Actually, the deficit in the UK isn’t that far off from that of Greece.  Gordon Brown has now called for civil servant pay freezes – but is it enough to stem the problem?

Sarkozy – Public Display of Support for Greece

March 8, 2010

Greece got a boost from French President Nicolas Sarkozy yesterday, after talks between himself and Greek Prime Minster George Papandreou.

So far, EU leaders have been less than enthusiastic about helping Greece in a big bailout package.  Luckily for them, the country does not (so far) need a package, having already announced austerity measures to tackle the massive 12.7% deficit problem.

Mr Sarkozy attacked speculators on the foreign exchange market and on the bonds market, for attacking the euro.  Indeed, in recent months the amount of positions against the euro reached record levels.  However, after the French President’s comments, the currency took a boost and rose against the US dollar.

Are speculators going too far, or are they right to avoid the single currency as Greece – and possibly other EU nations – struggle to tackle their major fiscal problems?

Greece Unveils Austerity Plan

March 4, 2010

Investors were slightly mollified yesterday, leading to a rise in the euro against the US dollar.  The reason?  Principally, it was due to Greece’s unveiling of plans to put its economy back on track.  It plans to do so by introducing VAT rises, public sector cuts and other austerity measures to try and reduce the deficit from 12.7% to 8.7% within 2010.  Will they manage it?

The euro has really taken a strain thanks to the Greek Problem, while other european nations have been edging close to a similar situation.  Investors have therefore been largely cautious around the eurozone single currency.

Meanwhile, the pound is still enjoying a slight respite thanks to positive PMI and other economic data.

IG Group in Healthy Profits

July 29, 2009

It is the hot new way to invest and is raking in the customers each month – financial spread betting.  The market leader for spread betting, forex trading and CFD platforms, IG Group, have reported healthy profits despite the recession.  Indeed, profits were up 30% to GBP 126 million. 

So why is this trade fashion so huge?  Spread betting firms report 2,000 new customers each month.  In fact, spread betting is attractive to investors and savers who are after a new way to make money.  Low interest rates, no commission – and it is cheap to get cracking.

Spread betting is also extremely exciting to those who have an appetite for a thrill – as markets rise and fall, profits can be large….and so can losses.  Make sure you take out a stop loss!

Futures traders are under a bit of negative attention in the USA, where regulatory watchdogs are trying to prove that Futures trading on the energy market has a direct effect on oil price spikes and dips.  In the UK, the FSA says there is no evidence to suggest speculation on the markets has a negative effect on the price of a barrel of oil and are not taking action. 

British Pound Up on MPC “news”

July 10, 2009

Just what is going on?  Usually, when the MPC is due to make an announcement, everybody is pretty sure what they will say, and then they say it.  In simple terms, at least.  But yesterday, they managed to leave the City confused, surprised and perhaps a little disappointed…

The committee had been expected to announce that they intend to extend QE and possibly even request permission from the Government.  However, in their statement they said that they intend to spend the rest of the current programme and then….well, they would see and decide at the next meeting in August.

So what on earth does that mean, asked City insiders and traders on the markets.  Did they intend to spend more come August or is that it?

The opinion is divided.  One thing is clear – the British pound was up by around 1 per cent against the US dollar and the yield on the benchmark 10-year gilt up by over 3 per cent.