Oil Prices and Central Banks affect exchange rates

Tuesday 16th December 2014 
It’s been a pretty choppy day in the currency markets, with news from Central Banks and oil prices causing quite a bit of exchange rate volatility. Today I’ll look at what has been happening with some of the main currency pairs. If you need to buy or sell any major international currency, I can source exchange rates up to 4% better than banks can offer. Contact me today to find out how I can help.


Pound/Euro rates seem to have been sliding lower over the last few months, and currently stuck between €1.25 and €1.26 which is several cents below the 6 year high of €1.29 we saw in the summer. It’s about the Bank of England and interest rates. In the summer analysts expected a rate hike before the end of the year, and this had caused the Pound to rise in value. It now looks like a rate hike is now some way off, and this has caused the Pound to drop off. 

Today we saw inflation fall even lower, down to a 12 year low caused by lower fuel prices. This could also slow the UK’s economy which may cause Sterling to fall further in the short term. The Bank of England, which targets an inflation rate of 2%, warned last month that the rate could drop below 1% in the next six months, and this poor outlook means that the Bank is unlikely to raise interest rates from the historic low of 0.5% for some time. 

If you need to buy or sell Euros, click here to get a free quote or discuss the GBPEUR forecast. 

Sterling/US Dollar & Canadian Dollar 

In the last 6 months GBP/USD has dropped from $1.72 down to around $1.56/$1.57. Part of this is due to the weakening of the Pound, but also the US Dollar has been gaining strength recently as their economy continues to impress. It’s likely the US central bank will raise interest rates before the UK, and that’s likely to keep the rate in check. 

Another reason is the low oil prices. The US imports lots of oil so when the price drops, the USD generally gets stronger and more expensive to buy. The opposite is true of the Canadian Dollar – GBPCAD rates have gone up by 4% in the last month, as the Canadian Dollar has weakened due to the low oil prices. They export lots of oil so their currency has weakened. 

If you need to buy or sell USD or CAD, click here for a quote or simply to have a chat about what’s moving the exchange rate. 

Sterling/Australian Dollar 

We are currently seeing very good rates to buy the AUD. The current rate is the highest it’s been all year. This is down to a very weak Aussie Dollar. Australia’s main export is Iron ore, which is at a very low price. China buys most of it, and their factory and manufacturing sectors are slowing, meaning less demand for these raw materials. This has caused the AUD to weaken and become cheaper to buy. Due to the slowdown in the Australian economy, they may have to cut interest rates next year and that is also pushing the GBP/AUD rate higher. 

If you need to buy Australian Dollars, click here for a quote or simply to have a chat about what’s moving the exchange rate. 

Russian Rouble 

We don’t trade the Russian Rouble, but it’s certainly worth a mention. The Rouble has lost about half of its value this year, and today alone has fallen another 10%. Russia’s central bank last month raised interest rates by 1% to 10.5%. Last night, they hiked the rate to 17% in an effort to stave off the fall in value of the currency. While we don’t trade this currency, I’m mentioning it as it demonstrates how central banks try to use interest rates to alter the value of a currency. On this occasion it hasn’t worked, and fears of fresh sanctions could drag the rouble lower, although it’s mainly due to oil prices. 50% of their GDP comes from oil, so the 5 year low in prices is reflected in their currency. 

Getting the best exchange rates 

If you have a currency transaction to perform, would like to discuss which way the market is moving, or get a quote to compare with your bank or existing currency broker, click here to send me a free no obligation enquiry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *