Pound sees tentative rises for buying Euros and Dollars ahead of the thinner trading of the Christmas period (Joshua Privett)

Buying Euro, USD and Australian Dollar exchange rates have shown a noticeable uptake ahead of the Christmas period with rates above the 1.19 level on GBP/EUR, and above 1.70 on GBP/AUD being realized ahead of markets closing for the weekend.

The gains against the Euro and Australian Dollar in particular this week were due to a lower demand for these currencies which sucked away some of their recent, and frankly over-inflated, value. The clear driving force behind this movement is attributed to the historic rise in interest rates in the US, only its second time the FED have been do so since the financial crisis.

The USD/EUR currency pairing is the most heavily traded in the world – frankly because they are the two most widely used currencies globally. So as a rule of thumb, due to the large amounts of transfers and exchanges concentrated between the pair, when one of the two currencies suddenly gets a large boost in demand, as we saw this week, the other loses value through a corresponding slackening in demand. This is why GBP/EUR briefly managed to maintain its vantage point above the 1.19 level.

The interest rate on the Australian Dollar is at record lows but still much higher than elsewhere at 1.5%, compared to the UK’s at 0.25% as an unfortunate example. However, it is traditionally seen as an unstable currency due to its links to the commodities market, so when you have a safe-haven currency which raises its base interest rate rate, investors like to opt for this safer option, and the sell-off of Aussies for US Dollars is why USD/AUD gained today, as well as GBP/AUD – tipping over the 1.70 level for the second time this week.

Moving forward however, Euro and Dollar buyers have the phenomenon of profit taking to deal with as unusual end of year market forces take hold of exchange rates over the next few weeks.

At the close of the year, and what a year it has been, traders have to consolidate their profits in a stable currency for the rough 2-week period when they are away from their desks. This protects their capital from any adverse movements in what are normally ‘safe-haven’ currencies, so that when they come back to the desks the amount of capital they are managing hasn’t been worryingly eaten into. Of course the Pound is anything but stable at the moment and will likely suffer in the sell-off that ensues.

As such anyone with a buying Euro or Dollar requirement may be wise to move sooner rather than later to avoid the hefty amount of risk which should be piled onto Sterling in the very near term.

Since Trump became President in November, Euro buyers have gained over 11 cents in the marketplace for GBP/EUR and 10 cents on GBP/AUD. Meaning that in real terms on a £100,000 transfer buyers have gained an additional €11,000 or $10,000 in the space of 6 weeks. Understandably, the popular option at the moment is to consolidate those gains.

The turn of the New Year has many forks in the UK and therefore the Pound between January and March which are difficult to account for ahead of time, and markets will be factoring this in to the price of Sterling moving forward which could end up being expensive for anyone with a planned Euro or Dollar based obligation to meet in the New Year.

Sterling buyers of course may consider the opposite and play the currency markets by ear as we edge closer to the Christmas period to try at catch the market at any peaks which emerge.

If you are planning to make a currency exchange involving the Pound and a foreign currency, it’s well be worth your time getting in contact with me on jjp@currencies.co.uk over the weekend in order to ensure you make a well informed decision on when to make that particular transfer, as well as benefiting from highly competitive exchange rates from one of the UK’s leading foreign currency brokerages.

I have never had an issue beating the rates of exchange on offer elsewhere, so a brief conversation could save you thousands on a prospective transfer.

For more news on foreign exchange rates and to request a free no-obligation quote visit www.currencies.co.uk

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