Posts belonging to Category Currency Converters



Pound soft after four year low for UK house price growth

In another sign that the UK economy is weakening, house prices grew at the slowest pace since August 2013 last month.

In another sign that the UK economy is weakening, house prices grew at the slowest pace since August 2013 last month.

Consumers won’t make big purchases if they aren’t confident in the health of the economy, so a fourth consecutive quarter of declining house prices has economists worried.

The pound softened yesterday after data released by Halifax showed that house price growth in the UK has slowed to its weakest rate in four years. Property prices increased 2.1% on the year, but in the three months to July were -0.2% lower than the three month period to April.

That marks the fourth quarter in a row in which house prices have declined on the previous three months. Consumers won’t make big purchases if they aren’t confident in the health of the economy, so a fourth consecutive quarter of declining house prices has economists worried.

Eurozone data wasn’t positive either, but GBP/EUR still weakened. German industrial production posted a shock decline on the month of -1.1% – a slowdown from 1.2% growth to 0.2% had been predicted.

Additionally, the Sentix investor confidence index for the Eurozone weakened from 28.3 to a three-month low of 27.7.

However, because Friday’s US jobs data caused the euro to plummet, there was room for EUR to recover and this drove it higher, with markets ignoring the domestic data.

A speech from Federal Reserve official James Bullard mid-afternoon undermined the US dollar’s strength to some degree. Bullard continued his cautious streak, commenting that soft inflation warranted keeping rates on hold during the near-term.

Wise Money Market News

There is no UK data left for release today, leaving the pound to react to the results of the midnight data released by the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

The German trade and current account balances have just been published, so the EUR will likely spend the day reacting to those. Signs of a surplus in Germany often causes tension with other member states, who accuse the Eurozone’s powerhouse economy of hoarding its windfalls rather than investing them in ways that would boost exports in other currency bloc economies.

This could allow GBP/EUR to make gains.

There is no impactful US data on the calendar, so GBP/USD could rise as markets digest yesterday’s comments from Bullard and Kashkari.

Pound soft as consumer optimism slides

UK retail data yesterday gave the Pound a boost after suggesting consumer spending was weathering the storm of strong inflation and weak wage growth.

UK retail data yesterday gave the Pound a boost after suggesting consumer spending was weathering the storm of strong inflation and weak wage growth.

 

The pound was largely on strong form yesterday after the latest retail data from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) suggested consumer spending continues to hold up well.

Retail sales grew at the fastest pace in three months during July, with increased demand for summer clothing and groceries helping boost the retail sales index from 12 to 22.

However, CBI Head of Economic Intelligence, Anna Leach warned that the underlying factors keeping growth strong were ‘shaky’.

GBP/EUR was able to post a solid rise after a stellar performance from the latest US economic data pushed USD sharply higher across the board.

A preliminary estimate for US durable goods orders growth during July clocked in at an impressive 6.5% – well above the 3.9% forecast.

The previous month’s decline was revised to just -0.1%, after having been originally reported as a -1.1% fall.

Then, the advance goods trade deficit was shown to have narrowed to -US$63.9 billion, against forecasts of a smaller improvement to -US$65.5 billion.

GBP/USD also slipped lower on the latest US dollar strength, although the pound was able to retain more of its strength in the face of the charging USD than most major currencies.

Policymakers sounded less confident on inflation, however, pushing down the odds that they will hike interest rates again this year.

Wise Money Market News

The only UK data on the calendar today has already been released; GfK consumer confidence figures were published at midnight.

GBP exchange rates are therefore likely to trend at the mercy of Eurozone and US developments, thanks to the key data scheduled for release.

German consumer price index figures for July will further add to the debate over Eurozone monetary policy.

Inflation is expected to hold steady on the month, which isn’t a terrible result, but is far from the concrete evidence of increasing price growth that markets and the European Central Bank (ECB) wants to see.

Shortly after that, US second-quarter GDP figures are released.

Expectations are for an acceleration in year-on-year expansion from 1.4% to 2.6% which, taken together with yesterday’s strong data, is likely to significantly lift the odds of an interest rate hike in December, even after the Fed’s recent caution on inflation.

GBP/EUR hits monthly high of €1.19

Gradual pound gains seem to be the theme of the week, with Sterling spending Tuesday sneaking its way higher against the majors.

Gradual pound gains seem to be the theme of the week, with Sterling spending Tuesday sneaking its way higher against the majors.

GBP/EUR advanced to a May high of €1.1921, GBP/USD tiptoed to an eight-month high of $1.2981, GBP/AUD surged from AU$1.7557 to AU$1.7649, GBP/NZD closed the day above NZ$1.8800 and GBP/CAD recovered from C$1.7673 to C$1.7816.

With ‘Super Thursday’ looming, what can we expect from the pound?

If the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is still split on whether interest rates should rise, the pound may hit new multi-month highs against the majors.

 

Wise Money market roundup

It’s been a pretty good week for the pound so far, with the currency quickly shaking off a slightly sluggish start and managing to achieve its best levels for months against several of its rivals.

Positive UK news came in the form of an impressive like-for-like sales report from the British Retail Consortium (BRC). Like-for-like sales had only been expected to increase 0.5% so the actual result of 5.6% was well received.

Meanwhile, the euro’s post-election rally stalled, the Australian dollar was weakened by a concerning slump in domestic retail sales, the Canadian dollar was pressured lower by sliding crude oil prices and the New Zealand dollar softened ahead of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) interest rate decision.

What’s coming up money wise?

With another quiet day for UK data ahead, the pound may be on pause ahead of tomorrow’s ‘Super Thursday’ of Bank of England (BoE) announcements.

Given that the UK general election is just weeks away, the BoE is highly unlikely to make any changes to monetary policy, but the attitude of policymakers towards future adjustments will be key to how the pound ends the week.

If the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is still split on whether interest rates should rise, the pound may hit new multi-month highs against the majors.

However, if the MPC is united in its belief that policy should remain accommodative despite spiking inflation we could see Sterling give up this week’s gains.

The BoE will also be publishing its inflation report. Upwardly revised inflation forecasts could boost the odds of the central bank increasing interest rates in the near future and would therefore be pound-supportive.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) will be delivering its latest interest rate decision later today. If the RBNZ takes a cautious stance, GBP/NZD could be driven to new post-Brexit highs.

 

 

 

 

GBP/EUR back to €1.18 despite Macron’s triumph in French election

A trio of unexpectedly upbeat UK economic reports for the services, manufacturing and construction sectors left the pound pretty upbeat as markets closed for the weekend and Sterling remains close to multi-month highs.

A trio of unexpectedly upbeat UK economic reports for the services, manufacturing and construction sectors left the pound pretty upbeat as markets closed for the weekend and Sterling remains close to multi-month highs.

The GBP/EUR exchange rate begins this week at €1.1827 (up from this morning’s low of €1.1786), GBP/USD remains above $1.2950, GBP/AUD is trading at AU$1.7534 (up 5 cents from last week’s opening levels of AU$1.7070), GBP/NZD is holding NZ$1.8700 and GBP/CAD’s current rate of C$1.7735 is one of its highest since the UK voted to Brexit last year.

What impact did the French election have on GBP/EUR?

The new French President has intimated he will be taking a tough stance on Brexit, and any further hints that he plans to make the UK’s exit from the EU difficult could send the pound lower.

 

Wise Money Market Roundup

The new French President has intimated he will be taking a tough stance on Brexit, and any further hints that he plans to make the UK’s exit from the EU difficult could send the pound lower.

Although the reports aren’t expected to alter the Bank of England’s (BoE) current attitude on interest rates, they are at least an encouraging sign of how the UK economy is performing.

The data was enough to give the pound a leg up against its peers and help it shake off concerns surrounding the fraught relationship between Prime Minister Theresa May and EU officials.

Meanwhile, over in France, Centrist Emmanuel Macron managed to crush far-right Marine Le Pen in the second round of the French election, taking 65% of the vote.

While this outcome has helped dispel Frexit fears, it was so long expected that its impact on the euro was pretty minimal. EUR exchange rates did enjoy a small rally immediately after the results were announced, but quickly fell back to previous levels.

The Australian dollar came under pressure this morning as domestic building approvals plummeted (exacerbating worries about the Australian housing bubble) and China’s trade data revealed a sharp slump in imports.

 

What’s coming up money wise?

Today’s economic calendar isn’t exactly bursting with exciting releases, but there are a couple of reports to look out for.

The Eurozone’s Sentix Investor Confidence index for May is expected to climb from 23.9 to 25.2 – a potentially euro-positive result.

Canada is also set to release housing starts data, while the US rounds off the day with its measure of labour market conditions.

Macron’s victory may also be responsible for further movement in the currency market in the days and weeks ahead. The new French President has intimated he will be taking a tough stance on Brexit, and any further hints that he plans to make the UK’s exit from the EU difficult could send the pound lower.

 

 

 

 

Pound boosted by unexpected UK economic strength

While the pound might have failed to get the upper hand against the euro, upbeat UK data helped Sterling strengthen against the US, Australian, New Zealand and Canadian dollars.

While the pound might have failed to get the upper hand against the euro, upbeat UK data helped Sterling strengthen against the US, Australian, New Zealand and Canadian dollars.

The GBP/EUR exchange rate dropped from €1.1812 to €1.1753 but GBP/USD advanced from $1.2844 to $1.2941, GBP/AUD hit an eight-month high of AU$1.7530 and GBP/NZD fluctuated between NZ$1.8701 and NZ$1.8869.

 

Wise Money Market Roundup

What’s been happening?

A better-than-forecast UK services PMI gave the pound a bit of a boost on Thursday and helped the currency recover its previous Brexit-related losses.

The services report came in at 55.8 (beating predictions of 54.5) and rounding off a trio of unexpectedly perky releases.

Markit economist Chris Williamson said of the report; ‘The upturn in the services PMI rounds off a hat trick of good news after upside surprises to both the manufacturing and construction PMIs. The three surveys collectively point to GDP growing at a rate of 0.6% at the start of the second quarter.

While we expect consumer spending to slacken in coming months, with the April survey highlighting continued weakness in sectors such as hotels, restaurants and other household-facing businesses, there’s good reason to believe that at least 0.4% GDP growth can be achieved in the second quarter as a whole.’

The news that Prince Philip will be retiring from public life later this year didn’t impact the pound, but it did dominate headlines for much of the day.

Meanwhile, the belief that Centrist Emmanuel Macron won the final televised debate of the French Presidential election bolstered support for the euro ahead of Sunday’s vote, weakening GBP/EUR in the process.

What’s coming up?

The pound could extend gains against the US dollar before the weekend if the US non-farm payrolls report disappoints. Any weakness in the labour market could make the Federal Reserve think twice about raising interest rates in June.

Sunday’s French election will be the catalyst for GBP/EUR movement at the beginning of next week. The euro could rally if Macron does take the Presidency, despite his victory being so long expected.

However, if 2017 turns out to be as politically shocking as 2016 and far-right Marine Le Pen emerges triumphant, EUR exchange rates are likely to record dramatic losses.

Next week the most high-profile events on the UK’s economic calendar are the publication of UK trade data and the Bank of England’s interest rate decision/inflation report.

The BoE is highly unlikely to take any action at this juncture, and the minutes from its report may err on the side of caution in light of the upcoming UK general election.

 

 

Two US rate hikes still expected for 2017

Signs that the UK’s Brexit negotiations are going to be a bit more tempestuous than hoped have left the pound a bit despondent this week, with the currency failing to see much benefit from positive domestic data.

Signs that the UK’s Brexit negotiations are going to be a bit more tempestuous than hoped have left the pound a bit despondent this week, with the currency failing to see much benefit from positive domestic data.

In the past 24 hours the GBP/EUR exchange rate has fallen from €1.1846 to lows of €1.1799 while GBP/USD has slumped from $1.2935 to $1.2842. However, GBP/AUD has risen from AU$1.7246 to AU$1.7393 and GBP/NZD has advanced from NZ$1.8623 to NZ$1.8751.

 

Wise Money roundup

Yesterday’s UK construction PMI continued the week’s theme of better-than-forecast UK data by coming in at 53.1 in April, up from 52.2 in March. This followed hot on the heels of Tuesday’s unexpectedly strong manufacturing report.

As the construction sector contributes so little to total economic output, the result was a pleasant surprise but had little positive impact on Sterling.

In fact GBP exchange rates actually weakened on Wednesday thanks to concerns that the UK’s Brexit negotiations were already getting off to a bad start.

Accusations from Prime Minister Theresa May that Brussels was interfering in the UK election and threats of a whopping €100 billion exit bill saw the pound drift lower against the euro.

GBP/USD also fell in the wake of the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision. While the central bank took no action at this juncture, it left the door wide open to two further rate increases over the rest of 2017.

The Fed’s statement asserted that it ‘views the slowing in growth during the first quarter as likely to be transitory.

While expectations of a June adjustment supported the US dollar, a softening in higher-risk currencies helped the pound stand firm against the Australian and New Zealand dollars.

What’s coming up?

Rumours that the Queen has called a meeting of ‘all staff’ at Buckingham Palace have been dominating headlines today, but as long as the subject of the meeting doesn’t have an economic focus the UK’s services PMI is still likely to be the main cause of pound movement today.

A hat-trick of positive results would give the pound a boost, but if the all-important services sector is shown to be struggling the pound could extend recent losses.

Eurozone retail sales data is also likely to impact the GBP/EUR pairing. As it stands, sales are believed to have stagnated on the month but risen from 1.8% to 2.1% on the year.

While better-than-expected figures could send the euro higher, gains may be limited ahead of the second round of the French election – due to take place on Sunday. Over in the US we’ve got trade balance, initial jobless claims and durable goods orders data to focus on.

 

 

 

Can the pound hit new post Brexit highs this week?

Following the bank holiday break, the British currency had previously motored its way to new multi-month highs against a number of the majors.

Following the bank holiday break, the British currency had previously motored its way to new multi-month highs against a number of the majors.

As well as striking a seven-month high against the US dollar and its best level against the New Zealand dollar since July 2016, the pound achieved its strongest rate against the Canadian dollar since the UK’s decision to break with the EU last June. However, the pound softened slightly on Tuesday ahead of the release of the UK’s manufacturing PMI.

GBP/EUR dipped from €1.1832 to €1.1779, GBP/USD tumbled from $1.2909 to $1.2863, GBP/AUD dipped from AU$1.7131 to AU$1.7066 and GBP/CAD briefly edged below C$1.76.

But is the pound’s outlook positive this week? Keep scrolling to find out…

The biggest releases on the UK calendar this week are the nation’s manufacturing, services, construction and composite PMIs for April.

Last week’s UK growth data may have been a tad disappointing (showing the slowest rate of growth for a year) but the pound largely ignored the GDP report and remained trading close to some of its best levels since the EU referendum.

The US dollar, meanwhile, was undermined by sub-par US growth stats and a steep slide in US manufacturing output.

Demand for the euro remained mixed ahead of the second round of the French Presidential election, with a report showing an acceleration in Eurozone inflation doing little to boost the common currency.

Canadian dollar weakness was largely the result of concerns about US President Donald Trump’s trade plans and declining oil prices, while profit-taking and outperforming manufacturing data from Australia caused GBP/AUD to edge away from its recent highs.

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) interest rate decision was a bit of a non-event, with the central bank maintaining the status quo.

What Wise Money thinks is coming up

The biggest releases on the UK calendar this week are the nation’s manufacturing, services, construction and composite PMIs for April.

Slowing growth – particularly in the all-important services sector – would be pound-negative.

According to Lloyds; ‘Following the disappointing first read of Q1 UK GDP last week, the coming week’s PMIs for April will be monitored for insights on prospects for the second quarter, starting with the manufacturing PMI today. The headline index recorded its third consecutive monthly decline in March, dropping to a four month low of 54.2.’

If, however, the PMI reports show unexpected growth they could prove to be the boost GBP exchange rates need to achieve new best levels.

Eurozone unemployment data could inspire euro movement today. If the rate of joblessness in the currency bloc eased from 9.5% to 9.4% as anticipated, GBP/EUR could extend losses.

Finally, we could see some volatility in the GBP/NZD exchange rate in the hours ahead with a dairy auction due to take place and New Zealand set to publish employment figures for the first quarter.

 

Euro loses election gains, pound hits 6 month high vs. US dollar

The pound managed to strike new multi-month highs against the US, Australian, New Zealand and Canadian dollars yesterday without the backing of any positive UK developments.

The pound managed to strike new multi-month highs against the US, Australian, New Zealand and Canadian dollars yesterday without the backing of any positive UK developments.

The ECB rate decision helped GBP/EUR achieve highs of €1.1885, dissatisfaction with Trump pushed GBP/USD all the way to $1.2914, and further Canadian dollar losses meant GBP/CAD was able to surge to a new best level of C$1.7633. Meanwhile, GBP/AUD climbed another cent to AU$1.7326 as GBP/NZD achieved NZ$1.8815 – its strongest rate since July last year.

A seriously worse-than-expected US durable goods orders report didn’t help the situation and GBP/USD skipped merrily to a six-month high.

Yesterday’s European Central Bank (ECB) meeting left the euro struggling, with President Mario Draghi seeming keen to quash speculation that there are any plans to adjust monetary policy at this juncture.

Although he acknowledged that the Eurozone’s economic outlook is a little brighter, he also asserted that ‘a very substantial degree of monetary accommodation’ is still necessary in order to give inflation a leg up.

With the euro falling in the wake of Draghi’s comments, the pound was able to creep its way up to its best levels since the results of the first round of the French general election were announced.

While Draghi was responsible for the euro’s losses, it was President Trump causing reduced demand for the US dollar. Concerns that his hotly-anticipated tax plan was actually a bit of a flop saw USD exchange rates slide. A seriously worse-than-expected US durable goods orders report didn’t help the situation and GBP/USD skipped merrily to a six-month high.

Persistent weakness in the commodity currencies also worked in the pound’s favour, allowing the British currency to advance to some of its best levels since the EU referendum.

News that the GfK survey of consumer confidence softened from -6 to -7 in April failed to take the wind out of the pound’s sales on Friday.

Wise Money market data coming up

The UK and US GDP reports are some of the key highlights on the economic calendar today. If US growth slows to the extent forecast in the first quarter (from 2.1% to 1.0%) GBP/USD could be headed for even dizzier heights.

The Eurozone is also set to publish inflation figures for April. In light of Draghi’s comments yesterday, slowing inflation is liable to send the euro lower. Conversely, if non-core inflation increases to 1.8% from 1.5% as anticipated the euro could bounce back before the weekend.

Looking ahead to next week and the biggest economic movers of GBP exchange rates will be the UK’s services, construction and manufacturing PMIs for April. Indications that economic output is slowing would put the pound under pressure as campaigning for the UK snap election intensifies.

 

Pound returns to multi month highs before growth data

UK news might have been lacking yesterday but that didn’t stop the pound striking new multi-month highs against the Canadian, Australian and New Zealand dollars.

UK news might have been lacking yesterday but that didn’t stop the pound striking new multi-month highs against the Canadian, Australian and New Zealand dollars.

Sterling was also able to claw back some of this week’s losses against the euro and edge higher against the US dollar.

GBP/EUR advanced from €1.1731 to €1.1817, GBP/USD jumped from $1.2807 to brush $1.2900, GBP/AUD hit AU$1.7233 (its best level since September 2016), GBP/NZD gained two cents to achieve NZ$1.8676 (its strongest rate since last July) while GBP/CAD remained close to seven-month highs at C$1.7475.

Signs that the post-Brexit economic slowdown predicted before the EU referendum is becoming reality would be pound-negative and may leave GBP exchange rates softer before the weekend.

A blank economic calendar for the UK left the pound to be moved by external developments yesterday, and a combination of profit-taking, US news and trade concerns ensured the British currency came out on top against most of its rivals.

While the euro edged away from its recent highs ahead of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) interest rate decision, demand for the US dollar eased as President Donald Trump unveiled disappointing tax plans.

The main development was the decision to slash US corporation tax from 35% to 15%, but fears that this move could result in a ballooning US budget deficit left the US dollar struggling.

Meanwhile, a tweet from Trump condemning Canada’s perceived injustices against US dairy farmers inspired concerns that New Zealand (the world’s largest exporter of dairy products) could come under fire next, resulting in significant New Zealand dollar losses.

Demand for the Australian dollar also remained tepid after domestic inflation data fell short, reducing the odds of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) increasing interest rates.

 

Wise Money market data coming up

Today’s big news item is the European Central Bank’s (ECB) interest rate decision. No changes to monetary policy are expected, but the tone and content of President Mario Draghi’s accompanying statement could inspire euro movement.

Any hints that the central bank is preparing to taper its quantitative easing programme would give the euro a boost and could drive GBP/EUR back to this week’s lowest levels.

Other news includes US trade balance, wholesale inventories and durable goods orders data. A trio of positive results would support US interest rate hike expectations and could give the US dollar a bit of a lift.

We’ll finally see some UK data on Friday, in the form of the GfK consumer confidence index and the nation’s first quarter growth data.

Signs that the post-Brexit economic slowdown predicted before the EU referendum is becoming reality would be pound-negative and may leave GBP exchange rates softer before the weekend.

Trump trade concerns send GBP higher vs. CAD, AUD, NZD

Although the pound failed to recover losses against the euro on Tuesday, the currency did manage to return to multi-month highs against the US, Australian, Canadian and New Zealand dollars.

Although the pound failed to recover losses against the euro on Tuesday, the currency did manage to return to multi-month highs against the US, Australian, Canadian and New Zealand dollars.

GBP/EUR spent most of the day below the €1.1750 level, GBP/USD rallied from $1.2803 to $1.2843, GBP/AUD advanced to AU$1.7105 (close to 2017 highs), GBP/NZD surged from NZ$1.8349 to NZ$1.8581 (its best levels since August 2016) and GBP/CAD achieved a high of C$1.7488.

Trump’s hotly-anticipated tax proposals are also due to be divulged. If they are viewed as having the potential to bolster the US economy, the US dollar could rally.

After last week’s significant pound gains the last few days have proven quite tame in terms of currency movement.

The euro was still riding high on Tuesday on the back of the outcome of the first round of the French general election and GBP/EUR recorded further losses.

However, the pound was able to advance on some of the other majors after UK data showed that Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond had hit his budget target for the 2016/2017 financial year. Although public sector net borrowing increased by more-than-expected in March, over the year as a whole it was down 28% on 2015/2016.

In fact, borrowing was at its lowest level since before the global financial crisis in 2008.

This, in combination with a drop in US consumer confidence, helped the pound climb against its US rival.

Sterling’s gains against the Canadian dollar, Australian dollar and New Zealand dollar were also the result of developments in the US.

A lumber dispute between the US and Canada sent the Canadian dollar lower and increased concerns of trade disputes developing between the US, Australia and New Zealand.

The Australian dollar came under further pressure after domestic inflation figures proved lower than forecast in the first quarter of 2017.

 

Wise Money market data coming up

The UK data calendar is light again today, with no notable reports to be aware of.

The US is set to release MBA mortgage application figures and crude oil inventories numbers, and Canada will be publishing its retail sales stats from February.

However, the main cause of currency movement in the hours ahead could be President Donald Trump’s meeting about North Korea. All senators have been called to attend the unusual gathering at the White House later today, although at the moment the agenda remains uncertain.

Trump’s hotly-anticipated tax proposals are also due to be divulged. If they are viewed as having the potential to bolster the US economy, the US dollar could rally.

According to Lloyds; ‘Reports suggest that he plans to unveil tax cuts, including a 15% corporation tax rate, and a 10% repatriation tax on companies’ stockpile of overseas earnings, although a border-adjustment tax may not be forthcoming. These measures were discussed with Congressional leaders yesterday, some of whom may question whether the proposed fiscal measures are revenue neutral.’