What happens to exchange rates over Christmas (Steve Eakins)

GBPEUR Showing Weakness Despite Strong Data

Through the festive period many people ask if there will be any effects on the market, either from more holiday cash being needed or whether all the toys being bought from the US and Europe change the prices.  The simply answer to this is No. These do not traditionally change the price of the Pound over the Christmas period.  What we do see happen however though is that the markets become very volatile due to the lack in volume being traded.

In normal trading sessions the volumes being traded affect the price of each currency but as there is less money being moved and transferred in that key time between Christmas and the New Year, smaller volumes move the markets a lot more.  This happened on a very big scale in 2010. Here at Foreign Currency Direct we will be open over the whole festive period with people watching the markets for clients on every non-bank holiday day and we can help.

If you are in the need for a currency transfer and have a target in mind email us and register your interest. Over what can be a very volatile time we can inform you if your target is hit.  Simply email [email protected] with your currency trading pair, volume, target, contact number and time to call. We will do the rest.

Have a great Christmas and New Year.

Thank you,

Pound to Dollar forecast: Should I buy US dollars now ?

Pound to Dollar Rate Gains Short-lived

In recent weeks Pound to Dollar rates, also known as cable exchange rates, have been on the rise. To put this into monetary value a £200,000 transfer into US dollars today compared to the middle of December, now generates $12,000 more.

US Dollar weakness

The US dollar has been on the decline due to the US Government shutdown. Donald Trump shutdown part of the Government in a bid to persuade Congress to back the wall that he wants built between the US and Mexico. The shutdown lasted 35 days and was the longest shutdown in US history. For the time being the shutdown is over, however reports are suggesting the shutdown could have cost approximately $11bn.

Pound strength fading

Up until yesterday evening the pound had been strengthening due to the chances of a no deal crash out Brexit diminishing. However, last night this changed. MPs voted in favour of Graham Brady’s amendment which stated Theresa May would go back to Brussels and inform the Europeans that the backstop is not acceptable and therefore the UK need an alternative arrangement.

Now that MPs want Theresa May to renegotiate, this completely opens the door for a crash out no deal as the European leaders in Brussels have made it clear that they will not renegotiate at this stage. UK Prime Minister Theresa May will meet with Jeremy Corbyn today to discuss the ongoing Brexit saga but I don’t expect the talks to be productive and she will head to Brussels later in the week to continue the negotiation.

My personal opinion is that we will be in the same position in two weeks time and Theresa May is running down the clock. Therefore I think it’s now likely that one of three options will materialise.

  1. The UK crash out of the EU and the pound plummets in value
  2. Article 50 is extended and exchange rates remain range-bound in the high 1.20s
  3. MPs cannot come to a decision by the end of March and because there is a majority in the House to block a no deal, MPs are forced to put it back to the people. Short term I expect rates to continue to remain range-bound, and the result will dictate the value of the pound thereafter.

All in all I don’t see GBP/USD exchange rates rising much further in the short term term, therefore US dollar buyers may wish to act sooner rather than later. For more information in regards to Pound to Dollar exchange rates and a more in depth forecast feel free to feel the form in below to outline your requirements.


Should I buy Canadian dollars now?

GBP to CAD Rate: Sterling Gains Against the Canadian Dollar Ahead of Bank of Canada Statement

Its been a tough couple of days for the Canadian dollar vs Sterling so should you buy Canadian dollars now? Yesterday the Bank of Canada kept interest rates on hold at 1.75% and thereafter provided an extremely dovish statement which was a surprise to the markets.

The Central Bank stated that a sharp fall in oil prices, which will likely to have an impact on economic growth was the main concern, and the trade war between the US and China is still a concern for global growth.

Is now the best time to buy Canadian dollars?

Now that Sterling vs Canadian dollar has risen from the mid 1.60s back above 1.70, the question my clients need to ask themselves is will the Canadian dollar continue to devalue or should they take advantage of the spike in the market and buy Canadian dollars now?

Personally I believe this is a spike that is worth taking advantage of, if clients need to purchase Canadian dollars with Sterling. Across the Atlantic, UK Prime Minister Theresa May is struggling to persuade MPs to back her Brexit plan.

Reports are suggesting that she could lose the vote on the 11th December by over 100 votes and this could cause major problems for the PM. If she loses by that kind of amount I believe her position comes untenable and we would see a resignation or she will be ousted by her own Party.

A real concern for Brits moving to Canada or Brits that buy Canadian exports is the commentary coming from the Bank of England. Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney has warned, if the UK come crashing out of the EU without a deal, house prices could crash by a third, GDP could fall 8% and exchange rates could fall 25%.

I’m confident that MPs are taking the Bank of England’s advice on board and therefore I do not fear that the UK will crash out of the EU, nevertheless the uncertainty of the deal not going through on the 11th December is a growing concern.

If you hold Sterling at present and are planning a move to Canada short term, you need to ask yourself the question now, are you prepared to take the gamble and wait until after the vote on the 11th? If she fails to get a deal over the line I believe GBP/CAD rates will fall towards the lower 1.60s and remain there for months to come.

For more information about when might be the best time to buy Canadian dollars or to discuss GBP/CAD rates in more detail feel free to drop me a message using the form below:


Will the Pound rise or fall versus the Euro in May?

GBPEUR Exchange Rate: Week in Review May 8th

The Pound to Euro exchange rate has risen on the back of loose expectations that the UK might be able to strike a deal between the Labour Party and the Conservative Party. There is now a feeling that with both parties doing so badly in the local elections, there is added impetus to try and form an agreement to deliver a Brexit of some description.

Will the Euro weaken in May?

The Euro has also suffered of late with the market sceptical of some of the plans by the European Central Bank to restore confidence in the Eurozone. With the European elections scheduled for the 23rd May, there is added pressure and focus over the outlook both politically and economically for the single bloc.

The Euro could now well face increased pressures as investors try to gauge which direction events will take. It is likely more populist parties will find support from the elections with an increase in dissatisfaction of Government noted across the EU.

If there is a belief that an agreement between the Conservatives and Labour can be found, the Pound may well find some strength against a possibly weaker Euro.

Sterling might now appear more fragile however, since there are still some major gaps between the two sides to come to agreement over. The uncertainty is the key piece of news in my opinion which is holding back the Pound, this could see the Pound to Euro exchange rate losing value.

Pound to Euro forecast: Will the Pound rise or fall in May?

I predict that the GBP/EUR rate will now remain in a precarious position as the market awaits further news on how the Brexit talks are going and the likelihood of any further progress. Speculation too, around the outcome of the European elections will also I believe keep the pair in a rather volatile state.

GBP/EUR rates have improved for buyers, but could quickly lose value. If you are looking to buy or sell Euros against the Pound, please feel free to contact me to discuss the latest strategy and forecast to help maximise the position. You can send me a message directly using the form below. I will respond personally.

RBS and Natwest to close foreign currency accounts – Will this affect you? We can help you exchange your currency into Sterling at much better rates than the bank! (Daniel Wright)

Pound to Dollar Rate Sinks to 1.38

We have heard recently from a number of existing clients that RBS and Natwest are to close all foreign currency accounts in the very near future.

If this is to affect you and you would like to discuss it in further detail then feel free to contact me directly as the company I work for specialise in getting much better rates of exchange than the banks and we can also hold funds in a foreign currency in a client account on your behalf, so if you do not wish to exchange the currency immediately due to where the markets are currently sat then you do not have to straight away.

I can personally keep you fully up to date with market movements and although I cannot directly advise you I can help you with the timing of your exchange to try and maximise your money.

An important day on the markets tomorrow for those looking to carry out any exchanges involving Euros as we have the European Central Bank interest rate decision and press conference at 12:45pm and 13:30pm respectively which could lead to an extremely volatile afternoon for the Euro.

If you feel I can help you with any aspect of currency exchange then do feel feel to contact me directly. You can email me (Daniel Wright) directly on [email protected] with a brief description of your requirements and a contact number and I will be more than happy to get in contact with you personally.

Factors influencing Pound vs Euro exchange rates

GBPEUR Above 1.15 and Looking for Guidance

Since the middle of September 2017 GBPEUR exchange rates have fluctuated between 1.11 and 1.1370, however one day in January exchange rates broke through 1.14 which provided fantastic opportunity for clients buying euros. On going Brexit negotiations have driven the price of sterling and any positive news has pushed GBPEUR close to 1.13, where as negative news GBPEUR has dropped to the lower 1.11s.

Next week the EU will hold the EU summit on Thursday and Friday and this event has the potential to have a major influence on exchange rates. The focus will be Brexit and investors will carefully watched to see if the EU allow the UK to start the trade negotiations early April. If this is the case I expect GBPEUR to break through the current resistance levels and GBPEUR will reach the 1.14s. However if the EU confirm the UK haven’t met the demands of the EU this could have a devastating impact on the pound and GBPEUR could fall below 1.10.

For clients that are buying or selling the pound, the question you should be asking yourself is how much risk do you want to take? If I had to put my neck on the line, I would say that the pound will finish next week well as the EU will announce that the UK will start trade negotiations early April.

In other news the Eurozone are set to release their latest inflation numbers tomorrow and the consensus is no change from current levels. With the euro gaining considerable strength against the US dollar over the last 12 months, I find it difficult to see how inflation will rise any further. Therefore I actually expect this to be a non event. Nevertheless if inflation rises, it puts another nail in the coffin for the ECB to cut the QE program and therefore you should expect the euro to strengthen.

In regards to the pound, the UK are set to release a host of data next week. To start the week inflation is set to be released Tuesday morning. Inflation is set to be released at 3%, which was the same figure as last month. Furthermore average earnings will be released. Forecasts are suggesting that throughout the year, average wage growth will start to catch the rising inflation, which is good news for Brits and the amount of cash they have in their pockets.

On Thursday the Bank of England are set to deliver their latest interest rate decision. No change is expected, but commentary from the Bank of England in regards to predictions will drive sterling exchange rates. Last month, a hawkish statement was given which improved the pounds value. I would expect more of the same.

If you are reading this website in order to find out information in regards to buying or selling the pound, I can help you achieve the best possible exchange rates whilst keeping you up to date with regular economic information. Common clients I deal with are business owners, high net individuals and people buying or selling property abroad.

Its important to analyse both currencies that you will be trading therefore I would recommend emailing me with the currency pair (GBPUSD, GBPAUD, GBPCHF etc) the reason for your trade (company invoice, buying a property) and I will email you with my forecast and the process of using our company [email protected].

** IF YOU ARE ALREADY USING A BROKERAGE IT WILL TAKE TWO MINUTES TO EMAIL FOR A COMPARISON AND I AM CONFIDENT I WILL BEAT ANY PRICE YOU ARE CURRENTLY RECEIVING  **

Will the pound rise or fall in December?

Pound to Dollar Rate Buoyed by UK Employment Data

The pound has had an amazing few weeks going from one of the world’s worst performing currencies to one of the world’s best performing currencies. Investors were bracing themselves for a dreadful finish to a bad year for the pound but now the outlook is a little rosier. Of course the performance of the pound will be interesting to you depending on which currency you are buying or selling against the pound. December has some very important global events alongside key news at home, all of which will shape sterling exchange rates. If you are looking to buy or sell the pound soon or in 2017 December is a key month to be making some plans ahead of!

EURO (GBPEUR) – The Italian Constitutional Referendum is on the 4th December and could easily see a big unwinding of Euro positions. This could give Euro buyers with pounds a nice early Christmas present! The Euro may weaken as political uncertainty in the region becomes a concern, the referendum is on constitutional reform but is turning into a vote on the popularity of Matteo Renzi the current Italian PM. On the 8th December the European Central Bank meet to discuss further QE (Quantitative Easing) measures which could also weaken the Euro.

December is shaping up to be a very volatile month for the Euro. The pound has just hit fresh 2 month highs against the Euro but will this last or could it go even go higher? For more information on this particularly uncertain pair please email me Jonathan Watson on [email protected]. We could hit over 1.20 so if you are looking to buy at 1.20 or more please let me know.

US Dollar (GBPUSD) – The fallout from Donald Trumps election victory continues mainly in emerging markets but the ascent of the US dollar seems almost unstoppable. One event that could easily half the strength of the US dollar is December 14th the US Federal Reserve interest rate decision. With markets pricing in over 90% probability of the US raising their interest rate to 0.75% global markets will be bracing themselves for this important wide reaching event. Expect further US dollar strength but this might lead to unexpected swings on GBPEUR and GBPUSD and investors move funds in and out of the US dollar.

GBPUSD exchange rates have been some of the most volatile in 2016 moving over 30 cents between the high and the low. If you are looking to buy or sell the pound and US dollar then please contact me to discuss the market in depth and all of your options. Please email [email protected] to get a further breakdown of the outlook and best available rates on this volatile pairing.

Jonathan Watson in action!
Jonathan Watson 

I Jonathan Watson have worked as a currency specialist for almost ten years helping business and private clients maximise their currency exchanges. I can offer a full overview of the market and highlight all the important events and your options to help limit your currency exposure. I would be delighted to hear from you and have a chat about our services and how we might help.

To contact Jonathan please email [email protected] or call 01494 787 478. Jonathan has appeared on BBC News discussing the EU Referendum and has been quoted in the FT, The Times The Telegraph and many more. 

Are you aware we can also help you with your currency exchange as well as offering you award winning market information?! (Daniel Wright)

Just to make you aware we have now had over 3100 people contact us through the site and so far we have managed to get better rates of exchange and win business from numerous companies, if you are using one of the following it may be worth you getting in touch for a direct comparison:

Moneycorp, HIFX, World First, Smart Currency, UK Forex, Oz Forex, Foremost Currency, Foreign Currency Exchange, Currency Index, Currencies Direct, XE.com, Transferz, NZ Forex, Halo, Afex, Tor FX and Hargreaves Lansdowne.

Not to mention Barclays, Lloyds, Natwest, HSBC, Yorkshire Bank, Clydesdale Bank, RBS, Halifax, Nationwide and pretty much all major banks.

We don’t only pride ourselves on a great exchange rate but also a really high level of service too, which you may find you aren’t getting to a high enough standard at present.

We deal with bank to bank transfers ranging from one thousand Pounds to multi million Pound transactions for both private clients and corporate clients… We have a regular payments facility too which is free and can assist anyone with smaller payments to Europe.

The company we work for is FSA registered and Authorised as a payments institute and all funds are kept in client transaction accounts to give you peace of mind your funds are safe and secure, we have won awards both for our exchange rates and customer service and have now 47,500 clients under our wing.

If you feel we could be of assistance to you as well, feel free to get in contact with me directly by emailing me [email protected] or you can indeed take two minutes to register for free to get a no obligation comparison in advance of your next transaction by clicking here

We look forward to speaking with you!

Should I Buy or Sell GBP At The Moment?

GBPEUR Showing Weakness Despite Strong Data

The answer as ever rests with which currency you are holding but if you do need to buy or sell currency for transfer abroad or back to the UK then the following is my generic overview of trends I expect to see in the currency market.

GBP – Sterling has rallied notably against Euro rising to a near 4 year high however much of this has been down to turmoil in Europe rather than real sterling strength as can be seen when you cross reference GBP rates with most currencies outside Europe.  With another £50bn of QE added by the Bank of England, and Governor Mervyn King admitting the UK wasn’t even halfway through its own economic problems, I would expect sterling to remain vulnerable as there is still a very outside chance of an interest rate cut in the UK if QE doesn’t work.  If you are holding most non European currencies then current levels to buy GBP are pretty good, however with the recent spike against the Euro (and CHF, PLN, and HUF) then it may be a good time to buy them- sterling has rallied nearly 3% in about 2 weeks so even if
you only need a £5k transfer for spending over the summer it would still save
you £150!

EURWith a number of countries having been bailout out the single currency is still
under fire as no solution on how to tackle the debt problem can yet be reached
between Germany and the rest.  This has created massive Euro weakness and provided a great buying opportunity from both the US Dollar and sterling.  I do not think
the crisis will likely end any time soon and I think the Dollar will likely remain robust as a safe haven but I do fear sterling may be slightly overvalued at present against the single currency until we see the UK economy turning around.

CHF – Given the Swiss National Bank decision to keep a base peg of 1.20 to the Euro it has meant the CHF has lost its safe haven status, and pretty much as the Euro has weakened so has the CHF.  Pretty much for any trade involving Swiss read Euro until the SNB change tack.

USD – Job creation figures in the US have been positive but a lot weaker than expected.  This is likely to be a key election debate between Republicans and Democrats this year and how to tackle the economic slump- this will be key as once again the US national debt will come up for
debate in the run up to November which could weaken the Dollar as politicians
bring the US with brinkmanship to further their own policies.  The other big threat to the Dollar is the possibility of “QE3” stateside and an extension of “Operation Twist”.  However whilst crisis reigns in Europe, investors will need a safe haven which will be the Dollar.  As such expect USD to remain strong against both GBP and EUR.

AUD mining still dominates the Aussie as China still hoovers up huge amounts of its natural
resources.  Wobbles in Chinese growth have seen the Aussie see-saw between 1.50 and just over 1.60 in the last couple of months and despite a fairly recent rate cut Down Under which temporarily weakened the currency I expect to see the Aussie strong against GBP unless the
RBA cut rates much further.

If you do want to transfer funds and want to see how a broker can help then please feel free to e-mail Colm at [email protected] for an overview of where I think your currency may head and a good exchange rate.

Pound sterling predictions

This week the pound has plummeted across the board against all of the major currencies due to Deputy Governor of the Bank of England Ben Broadbent’s comments. Mr Broadbent told the Press and Journal Newspaper that economic growth had only been ‘ok’ and it was ‘tricky at the moment to make a decision’ in regards to interest rates.

In recent weeks other members of the monetary policy committee had eluded to a potential rate hike in the future as inflation has risen to 2.9, 0.9% above the Bank of England’s target. Now that it looks like an interest rate hike is very unlikely, investment has left the pound, which has decreased the demand and therefore the value.

This morning UK unemployment numbers coupled with average earnings are set to be released at 9.30am. Unemployment levels are at record lows and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a further fall to 4.5% from 4.6%. However average earnings have been a problem for the UK and therefore I don’t expect this release to provide support and stop the pound from falling further.

For clients that are purchasing a foreign currency short term, it’s important to analyse the second currency you are converting however with the pound continue to struggle due to the impact Brexit is having, converting your currency sooner rather than later seems wise. The currency company I work for offers a forward contract, which allows clients to book a rate now and pay later for it. This is used when clients do not have all of their sterling available at present.

For clients that are purchasing sterling my personal opinion would be to see how far the pound continue to fall for the remainder of the week, even though it is very tempting to trade immediately due to the falls. However I would certainly get myself in the position to trade and potentially use a limit order / stop loss contract which allows you to choose your desired rate however if the pound starts to rise you can pick your worse case scenario to protect your position.

My area of expertise is property purchases and sales. Therefore if you need to purchase a foreign currency or you are about to complete on a sale abroad, today is the day to get in touch to discuss your options and to get an understanding of how we can save you as much money as possible [email protected].

** If you are already using a brokerage and would like to know if you are receiving the best rates possible email me with the exact figures and I will reply with our live price. This will take you minutes and in the past I have saved clients thousands! **

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