Friday 21st November 2014
The Euro has weakened again today, pushing the Pound/Euro rate up from €1.25 to €1.26, marking the end of a topsy-turvy week in which was saw GBP/EUR climb 2 cents, recovering half of last week’s losses. In today’s post, I’ll explain the jump in the rate, and also have a look at a forecast that Pound/Euro will hit €1.54. Or €1.12, depending who you believe. Let’s start with today’s movements :
Why has the Pound/Euro rate gone up?
It’s nothing to do with Sterling, and all to do with the Euro. This morning the ECB president gave a speech and his comments caused the Euro to weaken and become cheaper to buy. So what exactly did he say?
“We will do what we must to raise inflation and inflation expectations as fast as possible, as our price-stability mandate requires,” adding that some inflation expectations “have been declining to levels that I would deem excessively low,”.
With the next ECB policy meeting only a few weeks from now, and the EU economy facing a period of stagnation, he may make further comments that show the markets that he is committed to reigniting growth and inflation.
This is a clear signal that the ECB may embark on unconventional methods such as Quantitative Easing to help the economy. This caused the Euro to weaken and that’s the reason for today’s upward swing.
Will the Pound go up or down against the Euro ?
So what next for Pound/Euro rates? In the last few weeks we’ve seen the currency pair trading in a range from €1.24 to €1.28, and currently we’re slap bang in the middle of that range. I personally can’t see it going too much higher, but just to illustrate that nobody can predict the way exchange rates can move, consider these two differing forecasts…
The Pound is to climb relentlessly against the euro over the next three years and will reach levels last seen at the turn of the century, according to new forecasts by Goldman Sachs. They are predicting that rates will reach €1.54 within a few years. I find that hard to believe! In the 10 years I have been working as a Currency Broker, I have seen highs of €1.55 and lows of €1.01, but the current level of a little under €1.30 is a more realistic value in my opinion. Moreover, such a dramatic rise in sterling cannot easily be justified by the underlying weakness of the British economy, which already has the worst current account deficit in the developed world. It was running at 5.2pc of GDP in the second quarter.
The IMF have a totally different view, stating that they think the Pound is up to 10% overvalued, which could mean a correction in the GBP/EUR rate down to €1.12. Again I think such a drop is highly unlikely.
So Pound/Euro could rise to €1.54. Or fall to €1.12. Clear as mud.
What the two differing forecasts show is the total uncertainty over which way the rate will move into next year. So whether you are buying Euros, or have Euros to convert back to Pounds, it’s understandably very difficult to know when to fix a rate, given nobody really has any clear idea about the direction the currency pair will take.
That’s where I can help you. While predicting the market is impossible, having a good currency broker with a sound knowledge of the markets can save you thousands of Pounds. Part of this is arming yourself with the knowledge to make an informed choice on when to fix a rate. The other part is using tools to your advantage, such as Forward contracts, Stop Loss and Limit Orders to make sure you don’t lose out unnecessarily. In this way you can employ a sound strategy with regards to when to convert your funds, and take some control over what is a very unpredictable currency market.
The worst thing you can do is just sit back and hope the exchange rate moves in your favour. Hope is not a reliable economic tool. If you need to convert currency, perhaps for buying or selling property abroad or for business purposes, then get in touch with me today for a free consultation on how I can help you. A can discuss your requirement, discuss the currency pair you are converting, and explain the different options you can consider to help you make the most of your currency. When you decide to fix a rate, I can source you an exchange rate up to 5% better than banks and other brokers.