Decent UK data keep Sterling supported

Friday 10th May 2013
Good morning. Sterling remains supported at relatively high levels against the Euro, close to the best in around 3 months. Against the Dollar however, the Pound has fallen due to a strengthening of the US currency.

All in all, the UK economy has posted some decent figures this week, which has helped the Pound remain buoyant against other currencies, and has also influenced the decision this week by the Bank of England to keep interest rate and QE on hold. So what do I have in store for you today?

  • UK industrial and manufacturing figures better than expected
  • Bank of England leaves interest rates and QE on hold
  • US Dollar gains strength, pushing GBP/USD rates lower.
  • How Stop Loss orders can help you achieve the best exchange rates

UK economic figures better than expected, boosting Sterling

We had several UK released this week that impressed the markets, and this has helped the Pound stay relatively strong against the Euro and other currencies. We had UK industrial and manufacturing production numbers released mid-week, and these were stronger than forecast in March, as they were boosted by manufacturing and a recovery in oil and gas output. Manufacturing output, a sub-sector of industrial production, rose 1.1%, boosted by electronics, metals and machinery.

These numbers were higher than the markets were expecting, and as a result the Pound has remained supported against the Euro and other currencies. This follows a decent run for UK data in the last few weeks, and this recent improved news on the UK economy has boosted hopes that activity is gaining a firmer footing. This is one of the reasons the Bank of England held off any further stimulus this week, which I’ll look at in a moment.

This morning however we had Trade Balance numbers from the UK that were slightly worse than expected. This has taken the steam out of the Pounds run, and pulled rates slightly lower.

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Bank of England refrains from changing interest rates or QE levels.

The Bank of England has kept its stimulus programme of quantitative easing (QE) unchanged and also held interest rates at 0.5%. The decision had been widely expected, and certainly I did not expect any change in policy.

I think this will remain the case until the new Bank governor, Mark Carney, takes over the helm in July. This was the existing governor’s penultimate meeting, with his last one in June. It will be interesting to what kind of approach Carney takes when he takes over, and if he follows the same route of trying to weaken the Pound as King had done. Time will tell.

In the last few months, 3 of the members had voted for an increase in QE. The better numbers coming from the UK however, including the 0.3% growth in the first 3 months, seems to have had an impact on the chance of further stimulus.

In 2 weeks’ time, we’ll be privy to how the 9 members voted, and this will give a clearer indication of where the Pound may move in the future. If for example only 1 of the members voted for QE, I would expect the Pound to make gains.

US Dollar gains strength, pushing GBP/USD rates lower.

Despite better UK numbers, the Pound/Dollar rate has actually fallen in the last couple of days. Part of this was due to comments yesterday evening by one of the FED members, in which they hinted they may look to reduce the Fed’s on-going monetary stimulus.

Currently they buy $85bn of bonds every month in open ended Quantitative Easing. The news strengthened the US Dollar, and the GBP/USD rate has fallen a point overnight to 1.5390.

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How ‘Stop Loss’ Orders can help you get the best exchange rates

Most of you reading this blog are doing so because you want to achieve the best possible exchange rates, and convert your funds at the best time. Of course it’s impossible to predict where rates will go, however there are tools that you can use to help you make the most of your currency. One of these is the ‘Stop Loss’ order.

These work by placing a lower limit in the market, a ‘worst case scenario’ and should the rate drop below this, we purchase your currency automatically.

For example let’s say you need to buy Euros, and the current GBP/EUR trading rate is 1.18. You will be hoping the rate goes higher, but of course you don’t want to lose out should the market drop. So in this example, you could place a Stop Loss order to buy your currency should the rate drop below 1.17. If the market goes up, you can take advantage of any gains. If however the rate starts to drop, you know the lowest rate that you will achieve; 1.17.

Stop Losses are very useful tools when the market is rising, as you can raise your Stop Level at any time as the market rises. They are very popular for those buying property or need Euros, as it allows effective budgeting.

  • Want to know more about Stop Loss Orders?
  • Need the very best Exchange Rates to buy or sell currency?
  • Would you like to discuss what’s happening in the market to help you time your purchase?
  • Sick of getting poor rates and service from your bank?

If you have answered yes to any of the above questions, then you would benefit from a free consultation with me about you requirements. I can discuss what you need to do, and explain the options you can consider within your time frame. The rates of exchange I source for my clients are commercial levels that are up to 5% better than available at banks or other financial institutions.

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Have a great weekend.

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