Wednesday 7th Novmeber 2012
Good afternoon everybody. Things have moved around in the currency markets quite a bit today. We’ve had the US election dramatically affect the value of the US Dollar and riskier currencies. We have also seen Pound/Euro rates hit a new one month high due to poor UK data. In my post today I’ll take a look at the election, then the Pound/Euro situation. I’ll also have a quick look at Thursdays central bank decisions and how this might affect exchange rates going forwards.
US Election – effect on exchange rates
It dominated the news today, so I’m sure you all know that Barack Obama has won a second term as president of the United States. There are many sources where you can read about the election, so here today I will only focus on the effect it has had on exchange rates.
Effectively, it has weakened the US Dollar significantly, and pushed rates up above $1.60 before falling back away. The reason the USD weakened is the fact is was sold off fairly comprehensively once the results were known. This is because the victory for Barack Obama in the U.S. presidential election is seen ensuring easy monetary policy.
It has calmed the markets now there is more political certainty, and the fact Obama won means economic policy will remain the same and the Federal Reserve’s easy monetary policy is likely to stay for some time to come. This weighed on the dollar and gave a boost to commodity currencies such as the Aussie Dollar and Canadian Dollar. Gains were limited however over a little uncertainty over Thursdays Bank of England decision, which I’ll cover in more detail in a moment. First, the Euro…
Pound hits new 1 month high against Euro
Initially when the markets opened on Wednesday Pound/Euro rates dropped back away. This was due to the move into riskier currencies, as I mentioned in the election paragraph above. This gave the Euro some strength and it became more expensive to buy.
The drop didn’t last long though, as at 10am this morning we saw the latest German Industrial Production figures, and they were far worse than expected. The German industrial output data also lowered growth forecasts from the EU Commission, and this weighed on the single currency ahead of a crucial Greek parliament vote on reforms.
The net result? A weakening Euro and a spike of nearly one sent from the low to the high today. This shows how quickly things can change in the markets, and on a purchase of €250,000 today, the cost has varied by £1600.00 this afternoon alone. It’s good news for Euro buyers, as rates are the best in over a month, and only a few points away from the best in over 4 years. If you need to buy Euros in the next 6 months, get in touch with me by clicking here.
Bank of England announcement Thursday
The next main event is the Bank of England decision on interest rates and Quantitative Easing at midday Thursday. A few weeks ago, everybody thought it was certain more QE would be announced. In the last few weeks though, better UK data has greatly reduced the chance of this happening.
Of course nobody knows for sure, and some MPC members are split on what to do. The reduced chance is the reason the Pound has strengthened. Things can turn the other way very quickly though, so if they do announce further stimulus, expect the Pound to fall. Personally I think they will hold fire on more easing until early next year.
ECB also meet on Thursday
The European Central Bank also meets on Thursday and while no rate cuts are expected, growing evidence that they are in the midst of a recession is likely to boost expectations of more easing in the coming months. Watch out for the press conference at 13:30pm Thursday, as any comments positive or negative about the Euro could quickly affect GBP/EUR rates. That’s all for now, remember to send me a free enquiry if you need to secure the best exchange rates
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