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Currency update

Welcome to our Currency Research Centre. Here you will find information and analysis to help you stay up-to-date with the foreign exchange markets.

We regularly send out email alerts when exchange rates move to key levels. Our latest alert(s) is detailed below:

US dollar backtracks as Fed holds rates

22 September 2016

Sterling climbed back above $1.30 against the US dollar overnight following the Federal Reserve’s latest interest rate policy meeting.

As widely expected, the central bank held interest rates at 0.5%, opting to wait for further signs of economic progress towards its employment and inflation targets before raising rates. However, not all policymakers were in agreement with the decision as three officials would have preferred to raise rates now.

Elsewhere, the New Zealand dollar also retreated versus the pound after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand followed suit in holding their interest rates at 2%.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

GBP/NZD slumps to record low

21 September 2016

Sterling fell to an all-time low versus the New Zealand dollar yesterday afternoon as a fresh bout of ‘Brexit’ fears continued to weigh on the pound.

Concerns surrounding the UK’s economic outlook along with the potential of further stimulus from the Bank of England saw the pound drop to record lows of $1.7609 versus the New Zealand dollar.

Focus now turns to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s latest interest rate policy meeting tonight (10.00pm).

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

Prospect of further rate cuts hurts sterling

15 September 2016

The pound slipped from this morning’s high’s against both the euro and US dollar following the Bank of England’s latest interest rate policy meeting.

As widely expected, policymakers voted 9-0 to keep interest rates at 0.25%, however the central bank also suggested a further cut in interest rates is still a possibility by the end of the year unless its updated economic forecasts in November change significantly.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

UK factory activity helps sterling rally

01 September 2016

The pound advanced well above €1.18 versus the euro and $1.32 against the US dollar this morning as British manufacturing enjoyed a welcome rebound in August.

The latest Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) gauging factory activity across the UK surged to a 10-month high last month after falling to a three-year low in July. The improvement in activity matched the largest monthly jump in the survey’s 25-year history.

The release is encouraging evidence the UK economy is stabilising in the wake of June’s EU referendum result.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

Pound’s revival continues after retail sales

18 August 2016

Sterling traded back above €1.16 versus the euro and above $1.31 against the US dollar this morning as data revealed the UK consumer came out in force during July.

Thanks to warmer weather and a weaker pound boosting tourism, figures from the Office for National Statistics confirmed UK retail sales grew by 1.4% compared with June, much stronger than expected.

Overnight, the US dollar came under pressure after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting showed policy members remain divided over the timing of the next interest rate increase.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

Sterling gains fail to last after labour data

17 August 2016

Evidence of an improving UK labour market helped sterling reach morning highs of €1.1588 and US$1.3059 but the pound’s advance failed to last.

The total number of unemployed in the UK fell by 52,000 between April and June, to its lowest level in eight years. However, the figures fail to cover what effects the result of the EU referendum might have had on the UK’s employment sector.

Elsewhere, sterling continued to pare losses versus the Australian dollar, trading back above AU$1.70 after minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia’s latest policy meeting failed to offer any outlook the country’s interest rates.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

Pound falls below $1.30 versus US dollar

09 August 2016

Sterling’s poor start to the week continued this morning, falling below $1.30 against the US dollar and $1.70 versus the Australian dollar.

This morning’s weaker-than-expected manufacturing data was yet further evidence the UK’s economy was on a shaky footing in the run up to Britain’s vote to leave the EU. Manufacturing production fell by 0.3% during June.

Poor domestic data along with the Bank of England’s decision to step up its monetary stimulus measures aggressively last week has made it difficult to for the pound to make any sort of recovery.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

Pound falls amid new stimulus measures

04 August 2016

Sterling suffered declines against a range of currencies this afternoon following news the Bank of England (BoE) has cut interest rates by 0.25% from 0.5% to 0.25%.

Along with the cut in interest rates, the central bank also announced it is to purchase £60 billion of UK government bonds and £10 billion of corporate bonds in an attempt to stimulate the economy.

Growth forecasts for next year were also slashed from the 2.3% previously predicted, to just 0.8%.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

Pound jumps as BoE keeps rates at 0.5%

14 July 2016

Sterling surged this afternoon, briefly hitting two-week highs against the US dollar and the euro, after the Bank of England unexpectedly voted 8-1 to leave interest rates on hold at 0.5%.

However the central bank signalled fresh stimulus is likely to be forthcoming at next month’s meeting, at which time its policy response will be based on their new forecasts for growth and inflation in the wake of the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

Sterling hits 31-year low versus US dollar

05 July 2016

Sterling's recent decline continued this morning in anticipation of the Bank of England’s Financial Stability report and a disappointing reading for activity in the UK’s dominant service sector saw the pound slump to a 31-year low against the US dollar.

In his latest press conference outlining the central bank's Financial Stability report, governor Mark Carney noted sterling’s recent weakness was a necessary part of the UK’s adjustment to June’s referendum vote. Mr. Carney declined to comment on last week’s suggestions further monetary policy easing will likely be needed during the summer.

This morning's domestic data diminished any possibility of a sterling recovery. The purchasing managers' index for service sector activity fell from 53.5 in May to 52.3 in June, the lowest since February 2013. This adds to fears that anxiety surrounding the UK’s exit of the EU is intensifying.

The news came following yesterday’s bad news as figures revealed a heavy contraction in construction activity during June with the Markit/CIPS construction purchasing managers' index falling to its lowest level since June 2009.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

UK consumer spending spurs sterling

19 May 2016

Sterling rose to notable highs versus a number of its global peers this morning, including three-month highs against the euro, Australian, Canadian and New Zealand dollars as UK consumer spending excelled last month.

Due largely to increased sales at department stores, retail sales rose by 4.3% in the year to April, suggesting the UK consumer is unfazed by next month’s EU referendum.

The pound’s latest advance commenced yesterday afternoon after an Ipsos MORI poll showed rising support for remaining in the EU. The poll for the Evening Standard newspaper found 55% of those surveyed favoured staying in the EU, versus 37% wanting to leave.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

Sterling gains as poll eases 'Brexit' fears

18 May 2016

The pound rose strongly this afternoon after an Ipsos MORI poll showed rising support for remaining in the EU ahead of the referendum on 23 June.

Today’s poll for the Evening Standard newspaper found 55% of those surveyed favoured staying in the EU, versus 37% wanting to leave. A month ago the same poll showed a narrower 10-point lead for the ‘Remain’ camp.

The boost to sterling reversed this morning's losses against the US dollar and euro caused by soft UK employment data.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

Sterling retreats as labour market softens

18 May 2016

Sterling fell over half a cent against the US dollar and struggled to hold on to daily gains versus the euro this morning as data revealed the UK’s labour market could be cooling.

Unemployment fell by a modest 2,000 in the three months to March, whilst the jobless rate remained at 5.1%. However, figures also confirmed wage growth slowed over the same period with average weekly earnings rising 2.1%, compared with 2.2% in the three months through February.

Bank of England governor Mark Carney has previously said he wants to see improvements in wage growth before the central bank considers lifting interest rates.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

Sterling rises after BoE inaction

12 May 2016

Sterling advanced against many of its peers this afternoon despite the Bank of England (BoE) voting unanimously to keep interest rates on hold at 0.5% this month.

The Bank lowered its growth forecasts modestly to 2% for 2016 and 2.3% for both 2017 and 2018 (from 2.2%, 2.4% and 2.5% previously). The BoE sees inflation above its target level from mid-2018. This could point to interest rates rising sooner than markets currently expect, although the timing is likely to depend on the outcome of June’s EU referendum.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

Inflation figures weigh on Australian dollar

27 April 2016

The Australian dollar slumped by over three cents against the pound this morning as Australia’s economy recorded its first quarter of deflation since 2008.

A fall in the cost of petrol, food and clothes contributed to the surprise drop in consumer prices during the first three months of 2016, sparking speculation the Reserve Bank of Australia could cut interest rates as soon as next Tuesday’s policy meeting.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

UK growth softens in first quarter

27 April 2016

Sterling remained close to one-month highs against both the euro and US dollar this morning despite UK economic growth slowing to 0.4% in the first quarter of 2016.

Growth still appears to be reliant on the dominant services sector, which expanded by 0.6%. A 0.9% drop in construction output contributed to the slowdown. The figures follow a recent warning from the Bank of England that the upcoming EU referendum could weigh on growth in the first half of the year and prompt policymakers to tread more cautiously.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

Australian dollar rises to 12-month high

21 April 2016

The sterling/Australian dollar rate fell to a fresh 12-month low of AU$1.8292 this morning. A recovery in commodity prices and improving global investor sentiment in recent days have supported the Australian dollar.

The Reserve Bank of Australia kept interest rates at 2% for an 11th consecutive month in April. The policy meeting minutes, released earlier this week, confirmed the central bank also remains relatively upbeat regarding domestic economic developments.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

BoE keeps rates on hold amid Brexit fears

14 April 2016

Sterling held onto its gains made earlier in the week versus the euro after the Bank of England (BoE) again voted unanimously to keep interest rates steady at 0.5% today.

The 9-0 vote was widely expected, although the central bank cautioned that EU referendum uncertainty could lead to softer economic growth as businesses delay investment and hiring decisions.

The BoE also suggested the prospect of a 'Brexit' is prompting policymakers to react more cautiously to economic data. Figures released on Tuesday showed UK inflation rose to 0.5% in March, its highest level since December 2014.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

Sterling retreats below €1.25 against euro

01 April 2016

Sterling fell to fresh one year lows of €1.2467 against the euro this afternoon after poor economic data weighed on the pound.

Figures this morning confirmed manufacturing output remains close to its lowest point since 2013, raising concerns UK economic growth could be stalling.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

Sterling falls to one-year lows versus euro

24 March 2016

Sterling's recent decline against the euro continued this morning, falling to a one-year low of €1.2586 as uncertainty surrounding the UK's membership of the EU intensifies.

Investor nervousness about the outcome of June's referendum has increased since Tuesday's terrorist attacks in Brussels amid speculation that another terror attack in Europe could sway voters toward a vote to leave the EU in June.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

BoE votes 9-0 to keep rates on hold

17 March 2016

Sterling edged higher against many of its peers after the Bank of England (BoE) voted unanimously to keep interest rates on hold at 0.5% today.

The BoE noted the likely persistence of headwinds weighing on the economy, including increased uncertainty surrounding the UK’s referendum on EU membership. However, policymakers still view it more likely than not that interest rates will need to rise to ensure inflation returns to target in a sustainable fashion. Inflation rose to just 0.3% in January.

The decision follows yesterday’s updated growth forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility which suggest the UK will grow by 2.0% in 2016, down from the 2.4% rate predicted in November.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

US dollar falls as Fed remains cautious

17 March 2016

The US dollar fell sharply against sterling yesterday evening after the Federal Reserve opted against lifting interest rates and scaled back forecasts for future rises.

The Fed kept interest rates at 0.25%-0.5% as had been widely anticipated. However, Fed Chair Janet Yellen emphasised that global economic and financial developments still pose risks to the US economy. As such, the central bank now suggests interest rates might be raised only twice this year, down from the four potential rises forecast in December.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

Euro falls as ECB signals further stimulus

10 March 2016

Sterling/euro rose above €1.30 this afternoon as the European Central Bank (ECB) announced fresh stimulus measures aimed at lifting inflation and boosting an ailing euro zone economy.

The ECB lowered its main interest rate to an all-time low of zero percent, from 0.05%. It also cut the rate it charges on excess deposits by 0.1% to -0.4%. This means banks will now have to pay more to leave funds with the central bank overnight, incentivising them to lend instead. A larger-than-expected expansion of the ECB’s quantitative easing measures will see its monthly bond purchases rise from €60 billion to €80 billion.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

New Zealand dollar falls after rate cut

10 March 2016

The New Zealand dollar fell over four cents against the pound yesterday evening after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) cut interest rates by 0.25% to a new low of 2.25%.

The surprise move marked a fifth cut in less than a year. RBNZ governor Graeme Wheeler cited weaker economic growth in Europe and China as key reasons for the change, whilst subdued inflation and a relatively strong domestic currency also remain concerns for the central bank.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

Australian economy beats expectations

02 March 2016

The Australian dollar approached a fresh ten-month high against the pound overnight following news Australia’s economic growth beat expectations in the final quarter of 2015.

Australia’s economy grew by 3% in the final three months of the year, compared to the same period a year ago. The improvement comes despite a slump in global commodity prices and a Chinese economic slowdown. Key contributions to growth came from household consumption, construction and public spending.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

GBP/USD retreats to seven-year low

24 February 2016

Sterling fell to its lowest level since March 2009 today (US$1.3925), as uncertainty over the UK’s future membership of the European Union continued to weigh on the pound.

Negative sentiment towards sterling was also compounded by Bank of England governor Mark Carney’s cautious testimony to Parliament’s Treasury Select Committee yesterday. Mr Carney said he expects UK interest rates to rise within the next three years, seemingly backtracking from previous comments hinting at a possible rise in 2016.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

Strong UK jobs data stems sterling's fall

17 February 2016

Having dropped to a new one-year low of €1.2659 versus the euro last week, an encouraging set of UK employment data offered the pound some relief this morning.

Unemployment fell by 60,000 between October and December, according to the Office for National Statistics. The jobless rate remained at 5.1%, maintaining a decade-low rate.

Less encouragingly, strong employment growth is yet to put meaningful upward pressure on pay growth, which is rising at its slowest pace since last February. The Bank of England (BoE) has suggested this partly reflects continued low inflation levels which are restraining pay settlements. Figures yesterday showed that inflation edged up to just 0.3% in January.

Last month BoE governor Mark Carney confirmed both wage growth and inflation will need to climb before the central bank considers lifting interest rates.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

Sterling falls to one-year lows versus euro

09 February 2016

The pound fell to a one-year low of €1.2743 today amid continuing volatility in wider financial markets. Other perceived 'safe haven' currencies such as the Swiss franc and Japanese yen remain amongst the strongest-performing major currencies so far this year.

Data from the Office for National Statistics this morning added to the gloom surrounding the UK's prospects, as the nation’s trade deficit between exports and imports widened in the final quarter of 2015.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

Sterling falls as BoE cuts growth forecasts

04 February 2016

The pound fell against a number of its peers following the Bank of England’s (BoE) latest policy meeting today.

The Bank's rate-setting committee unexpectedly voted unanimously to keep interest rates at 0.5%, with Ian McCafferty abandoning his push for a first rise since 2007. The central bank also lowered its near-term growth and inflation forecasts in response to weak wage growth, renewed oil price declines and China’s slowdown. It now sees UK growth reaching just 2.2% this year, down from the 2.5% pace predicted in its November Inflation Report.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

Federal Reserve and RBNZ leave rates on hold

28 January 2016

The US dollar remained largely unmoved against the pound overnight after the Federal Reserve left interest rates on hold at its latest policy meeting.

The dollar’s recent strength has weighed on the country’s exports, hindering economic growth, as the central bank confirmed it would ‘closely monitor’ global economic developments and their effects on the US economy.

Elsewhere, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) followed suit, leaving interest rates on hold at 2.5%. However, the New Zealand dollar soon retreated against sterling after the central bank signalled the possibility of further rate cuts amid persistently low inflation and low dairy prices.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

Pound hits fresh lows versus US dollar

13 January 2016

The US dollar's buoyant 2016 performance against sterling continued this week, reaching highs not seen since 2010 ($1.4350), as disappointing economic data cast shadows over UK growth prospects yesterday.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics confirmed the UK’s industrial sector suffered its sharpest fall in production since 2013 during November, whilst manufacturing output also shrank for a second consecutive month.

Sterling interests now turn to the Bank of England’s latest interest rate policy meeting tomorrow (12.00pm).

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

Sterling falls amid economic headwinds

07 January 2016

The pound fell towards a three-month low against the euro (€1.3393) and a five-year low against the US dollar ($1.4530) today as chancellor George Osborne warned of a number of global threats that could harm the UK’s economy in 2016.

News of a second suspension in trading on Chinese markets has prompted another sell-off across global stock markets this morning, as the chancellor also suggested escalating tensions in the Middle East and slowing global growth pose risks to the UK economic recovery.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

US dollar continues to gain versus sterling

06 January 2016

The US dollar advanced to eight-month highs against the pound this morning ($1.4631), benefiting from its perceived ‘safe haven’ status as concerns surrounding global markets persist.

News that China’s manufacturing sector contracted again in December has prompted a sell-off across global stock markets this week, whilst escalating tensions in the Middle East and lower oil prices have further hindered investor confidence.

The Federal Reserve raised US interest rates for the first time since 2006 last month, despite continuing global economic uncertainties.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

US dollar gains as Fed raises interest rates

17 December 2015

The US dollar advanced to overnight highs of $1.4921 against sterling as the Federal Reserve met market expectations by lifting interest rates for the first time since 2006.

Despite persistently low inflation, the decision from the US central bank to raise interest rates by 0.25% was unanimous, citing an improving labour market and a more robust economy as the key reasons behind the move.

In her accompanying statement, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen confirmed further rate rises will be gradual, but gave little guidance as to the likely timing of the next increase.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

New Zealand dollar advances despite rate cut

10 December 2015

The New Zealand dollar added over a cent against the pound this morning despite the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) cutting interest rates by 0.25% to a record low of 2.5% overnight.

The move was widely expect by many economists and marked the fourth cut in interest rates since June as the central bank aims to stave off the effects of a softening economy, low inflation and weaker dairy prices. The accompanying statement suggested the RBNZ now intends to keep interest rates at 2.5% in the near-term.

The Australian dollar also recovered some ground after a surge in new jobs pulled the Australian unemployment level down to a 19-month low in November, lessening the likelihood of fresh interest rate cuts in 2016.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

Euro advances as Draghi underwhelms

03 December 2015

The pound fell to lows of €1.3804 against the euro this afternoon as European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi announced only modest changes to current stimulus measures aimed at lifting inflation.

Although the ECB kept its main interest rate on hold at 0.05%, it cut its deposit rate on institutional funds held with the ECB to -0.3% from -0.2% to further encourage banks to lend consumers and businesses. The central bank also extended its bond-buying programme until March 2017, but stopped short of increasing the amount beyond €60 billion per month.

The sterling/US dollar rate rose back above $1.50 after the announcement, despite the Federal Reserve being widely expected to raise US interest rates on 16 December.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

GBP/AUD drops to four-month lows

02 December 2015

The pound fell to lows not seen since July versus the Australian dollar this morning following news Australia's economic growth beat expectations in the third quarter of 2015.

Thanks to an improvement in the country's exports, figures confirmed growth of 0.9% in the three months to September. This allayed fears that a Chinese economic slowdown and falling commodity prices could hurt Australian growth prospects.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

Sterling rallies following Osborne's Autumn Statement

25 November 2015

The pound advanced against a number of its global peers this afternoon, following the release of chancellor George Osborne's Autumn Statement and Spending Review.

As well as detailing £20 billion in budget cuts, the chancellor also announced fresh economic growth forecasts for the next two years, predicting the UK’s economy will grow by 2.4% in 2016 (from 2.3%) and 2.5% in 2017 (from 2.4%).

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

Sterling/euro reaches three-month highs

17 November 2015

The pound advanced to three-month highs of €1.4273 against the euro this morning despite data confirming UK consumer inflation remained in negative territory during October.

A fall in the price of food, alcohol and tobacco was the main cause for the annual inflation rate remaining at -0.1% last month, reinforcing expectations that UK interest rates will not increase until well into next year.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

Sterling/euro breaks through €1.42

12 November 2015

The pound broke through €1.42 against the euro this morning, marking its highest level in nearly three months.

The euro's decline came amid speculation the European Central Bank (ECB) could soon intensify its existing stimulus measures. In his testimony to the EU parliament today, ECB president Mario Draghi said the euro zone recovery is progressing moderately, but also cautioned that the central bank is ready to take action in December if necessary to lift inflation towards its target level.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

Sterling dips on BoE interest rate decision

05 November 2015

Sterling fell against its key rivals this afternoon following an announcement from the Bank of England (BoE). The central bank signaled any need to raise interest rates in the near-term have diminished in response to a weaker outlook for global growth.

The BoE voted 8-1 to keep interest rates at 0.5% at today’s policy meeting. The Bank now expects inflation to remain below 1% until the second half of 2016 and also trimmed its UK growth forecasts for this year and into 2016.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

Sterling gains on strong UK retail sales

22 October 2015

The pound rose above €1.37 versus the euro this morning for the first time in nearly a month after a surge in retail sales during September.

Sales leapt by 1.9% last month - the biggest monthly increase since December 2013. This was far higher than economists' forecasts (0.3% rise). The Office for National Statistics (ONS) attributed falling shop prices and promotions around the Rugby World Cup as key factors driving the jump in consumer spending.

This news comes ahead of the outcome of the European Central Bank's (ECB) monthly policy meeting at 12.45pm today. The ECB is widely expected to leave the door open to expand its quantitative easing measures in the near future should upcoming euro zone growth and inflation data remain more subdued than anticipated.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

Sterling falls as UK inflation turns negative

13 October 2015

Sterling declined against most of its peers this morning, as well as falling to five-month lows against the euro after the UK's annual inflation rate dropped below zero for the second time this year.

Consumer prices fell by -0.1% during September, led by lower fuel prices and a smaller than usual rise in clothing prices. The data means there is little pressure on the Bank of England to lift interest rates in the near future. Last week, the Bank said it expected inflation to remain below 1% until Spring 2016.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

UK interest rates on hold as inflationary pressures persist

08 October 2015

The pound remained relatively unchanged following the Bank of England's (BoE) midday decision to leave interest rates on hold at a record low of 0.5%.

The central bank's Monetary Policy Committee voted by 8 to 1 to keep rates unchanged with dissenting committee member Ian McCafferty voting for a 0.25% rise for a third straight month.

Minutes from the BoE's meeting went on to confirm low consumer inflation was the main reason for leaving rates on hold with subdued oil prices keeping inflation well below the bank's 2% percent target.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

US dollar little changed following Fed decision

18 September 2015

The US dollar remained relatively flat against the pound overnight despite the Federal Reserve's decision to keep interest rates at 0.25%.

Nine of the ten voting members of the Federal Open Market Committee voted to leave rates on hold as the central bank went on to confirm signs of weaker global growth and the recent stock market turmoil in China were the main factors behind its decision.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

Sterling spurred by UK wage growth

16 September 2015

The pound advanced against a number of its global peers this morning, including by more than a cent versus the euro, boosted by improving wage growth figures during July.

Average earnings (a key indicator for the Bank of England when setting monetary policy) grew at their fastest pace since 2009, with wages rising by 2.9% compared with the same period last year.

Global interests now turn to tomorrow's Federal Reserve policy meeting (19.00pm), to see if the central bank raises US interest rates from their record lows.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

Euro falls as ECB cuts euro zone growth forecasts

03 September 2015

The euro fell to lows of €1.3741 against sterling this afternoon following the European Central Bank's (ECB) latest policy meeting.

As expected, the central bank left interest rates on hold at record lows of 0.05%, however the ECB downgraded euro zone growth and inflation forecasts for the next three years amid concerns surrounding the effect of China's recent economic slowdown.

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China risks spark currency market volatility

25 August 2015

As with global stock markets, foreign exchange markets have become exceptionally volatile in recent days as events in China have unfolded.

Sterling/euro fell to a three-month low of €1.3468 yesterday afternoon, although at present levels it remains 6% higher than at the start of the year.

Meanwhile, the sterling/US dollar rate has risen to its highest level since June ($1.5803) amid fears that current market turmoil could delay a first US interest rate rise.

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Sterling climbs to €1.42 as inflation returns

19 August 2015

The pound advanced to above €1.42 against the euro this morning following higher-than-expected UK inflation figures.

Consumer prices rose 0.1% during July, up from June's 0% rate. The main surprise was a jump in 'core' inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy price movements, to 1.2%. The rise suggests underlying inflationary pressures are building, lifting the prospect of the Bank of England raising interest rates sooner than previously anticipated.

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Australian dollar tumbles on China fears

12 August 2015

The sterling/Australian dollar exchange rate rose towards its six-year high of AU$2.1528 this morning as fears over the health of China's economy resurfaced.

Rich in natural resources, Australia is a major exporter of commodities and China is one of its main markets. A weakening Chinese economy and the associated drop in demand for commodities have prompted the Australian dollar to lose four cents versus sterling since Friday's close.

In an effort to revive growth in the world's second largest economy, China's central bank has devalued its currency with the yuan suffering its biggest two-day drop against the US dollar in more than two decades.

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Sterling slips on 'Super Thursday'

06 August 2015

The pound fell sharply in response to the Bank of England's (BoE) so-called 'Super Thursday' - an event combining the Bank's interest rate decision, meeting minutes and quarterly Inflation Report.

BoE policymakers voted 8-1 in favour of keeping interest rates at 0.5%, confounding expectations that the minutes might reveal two or three dissenting votes for a rise. The Bank's latest forecasts revealed recent further falls in the oil price could mean inflation rises more slowly than previously thought, thereby delaying a first interest rate rise into next year.

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Australian dollar gains after central bank leaves rates on hold

04 August 2015

The Australian dollar advanced over two and a half cents against sterling this morning as the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) kept interest rates at 2% at its latest policy meeting.

The RBA suggested current interest rate levels are helping to offset the negative impact of falling commodity prices and also removed any reference to a weaker Australian dollar being necessary.

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Canadian dollar slumps on poor GDP data

31 July 2015

The Canadian dollar fell to fresh six-year lows (C$2.0420) against the pound this afternoon follow an unexpected fall in the country's latest economic growth figures.

Canada's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell for a fifth straight month during May, weighed down by weak results in manufacturing output, oil and gas extraction and wholesale trade. Commodity-led currencies such as the Canadian dollar have also suffered amid ongoing weakness in commodity prices, with oil prices falling to five-month lows earlier this week.

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US dollar little changed despite Federal Reserve optimism

30 July 2015

The US dollar remained flat against the pound overnight despite an upbeat assessment of the US economy in the Federal Reserve's latest policy statement.

Fed chair Janet Yellen confirmed the US central bank remains on course to raise interest rates later this year thanks to improvement in both the labour and housing markets. A first estimate of the US economy's second quarter Gross Domestic Product growth performance will be released at 13.30pm later today.

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RBNZ cuts interest rates for second consecutive month

23 July 2015

The New Zealand dollar made gains versus the pound this morning despite the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) cutting interest rates from 3.25% to 3.00% overnight.

The central bank had previously been expected to reduce rates even further by 0.5% to help counter low inflation in a slowing economy.

The RBNZ's move marked the second cut in interest rates in as many months.

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Sterling/euro hits fresh seven-year high

16 July 2015

Despite Greece accepting reforms in return for its €86 billion bailout package, the euro fell to its lowest level against the pound since November 2007 this morning (€1.4317).

The single currency's latest decline comes ahead of the European Central Bank's policy meeting later today and a vote in Germany’s parliament tomorrow over whether to back the Greek bailout deal.

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Sterling/Canadian dollar hits six-year high

15 July 2015

Sterling rose above CA$2.00 this afternoon for the first time since October 2008 after the Bank of Canada (BoC) reduced interest rates to 0.50% from 0.75%.

The BoC now expects Canada's economy to grow by just over 1% this year, reflecting lower business investment within the energy sector.

Other commodity-led currencies have also weakened in recent weeks, with sterling trading at five-year highs against the Australian and New Zealand dollars.

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Sterling advances on Carney's comments

14 July 2015

The pound advanced against many of its peers this morning, adding over a cent against both the euro and US dollar.

This follows Bank of England governor Mark Carney's testimony to parliament, in which he suggested the time for a first UK interest rate rise since the financial crisis is moving closer despite inflation falling back to zero in June.

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Australian dollar hit by poor retail sales

03 July 2015

The Australian dollar slumped to a six-year low (AU$2.0735) against sterling this morning following lacklustre Australian retail sales data.

Official retail sales figures showed growth of 0.3% in May. This was less than the expected 0.5% and raises fresh concerns a further cut in Australian interest rates could be imminent.

The pound has also gained ground against the New Zealand dollar, approaching highs not seen since September 2009 (NZ$2.3381).

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Euro dips as Greece defaults on IMF loan

01 July 2015

Sterling / euro traded back above €1.41 this morning as Greece became the first advanced nation to default on debt owed to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

This followed a refusal of a Greek request for a two-year bailout extension, although euro zone finance ministers will review the proposals in more detail later today. A referendum to decide whether to accept the latest reform demands put forward by the country's international creditors is scheduled to be held in Greece on Sunday 5 July.

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Euro falls despite hopes of a Greek deal

23 June 2015

The euro fell to lows of €1.4067 against the pound this morning despite renewed hopes of a resolution to the Greek debt situation.

Although no deal has been struck, European leaders have broadly welcomed the fresh reform proposals put forward by Greece. However, time is running out for the debt-laden economy. Failure to agree upon a solution will force the country to default on a €1.6 billion International Monetary Fund loan repayment due at the end of this month and this might spell problems for the single currency.

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Sterling/US dollar hits seven-month high

18 June 2015

The pound advanced to a seven-month high ($1.5929) against the US dollar this morning, following the release of the Federal Reserve's latest policy statement last night.

Fed chair Janet Yellen confirmed the US central bank remains on course to raise interest rates later this year, but noted current employment market and inflation conditions did not yet justify an increase.

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Sterling hits fresh highs against major currencies

17 June 2015

The pound advanced against most of its major peers this morning. It reached five-year highs against the Australian dollar and New Zealand dollar and a three-month high against the Canadian dollar.

Figures showed UK unemployment fell to its lowest point since August 2008, whilst wage growth also beat expectations with average earnings up by 2.7%. The positive data sparks hope the central bank might increase interest rates sooner rather than later.

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New Zealand central bank cuts rates

11 June 2015

The New Zealand dollar plunged by more than five cents against the pound overnight after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand cut interest rates for the first time in over four years.

Sterling reached highs of NZ$2.2121 after the central bank cut its official cash rate by 0.25% to 3.25% and signalled a further cut might become appropriate. Key reasons for the move include low inflation, slowing economic growth and weak dairy prices.

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Sterling/Australian dollar hits five-year high

09 June 2015

Sterling's strength against the Australian dollar has continued in recent days, reaching highs of AU$2.0070 - its highest level since August 2009.

This follows the Reserve Bank of Australia's decision to leave interest rates unchanged at their historic low of 2.0% last week.

The pound has also gained ground against the New Zealand dollar and South African rand. The sterling/New Zealand dollar rate has recently traded above NZ$2.15 for the first time since March 2011. Sterling/South African rand is currently trading above ZAR19.10 for the first time since October 2008.

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Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

Euro gains as ECB holds interest rates

03 June 2015

The euro gained versus the pound after the European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi confirmed the timing and size of the central bank's quantitative easing measures will remain unchanged. The ECB also kept interest rates on hold at 0.05%.

The single currency had gained some ground yesterday amid renewed hopes of an agreement between Greece and its creditors in the coming days.

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Sterling/Australian dollar soars to three-month highs

28 May 2015

Sterling rose above AU$2.00 today for the first time since mid-February. Disappointing business investment data raised fresh concerns of a further cut in Australian interest rates.

The Reserve Bank of Australia cut rates to record lows of 2% earlier this month, citing weak investment as one of the key reasons for taking this action. The 4.4% drop in business investment in the first quarter was the steepest fall since 2009.

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Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

GBP/EUR higher despite negative inflation

19 May 2015

Sterling slipped from highs of €1.3985 against the euro this morning after the UK's annual inflation rate fell below zero for the first time in more than half a century.

Consumer prices fell by -0.1% in the year to April, led lower by a drop in airfares and other transport costs. The data further relieves pressure on the Bank of England to raise interest rates in the near term.

The euro had weakened earlier today after European Central Bank policy maker Benoît Cœuré confirmed the central bank will speed up the pace of its monthly bond-buying programme ahead of the summer lull in July and August.

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Sterling hits six-year high versus the South African rand

12 May 2015

Sterling rose above ZAR19.00 against the South African rand today for the first time since October 2008 as concerns surrounding the global impact of Greece's debt situation intensified.

As a major European trading partner, South Africa's currency was affected by fears Greece could default on its debts and run out of money in the next couple of weeks.

Currencies offering higher interest rates, such as the South African rand, have tended to be sensitive to changes in global investor confidence and have typically declined when sentiment deteriorated.

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Sterling hits four-year high versus the New Zealand dollar

11 May 2015

Sterling rallied to four-year highs (NZ$2.1131) against the New Zealand dollar this afternoon amid growing expectations the Reserve Bank of New Zealand could start cutting interest rates as soon as next month.

The likelihood of the central bank taking measures to support its domestic economy appears to have risen owing to a combination of low inflation, weak dairy prices and last week's disappointing unemployment figures.

Earlier today the Bank of England kept interest rates unchanged at a record low of 0.5%.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

Sterling soars as election result emerges

08 May 2015

The pound has reacted favourably to the likely outcome of a clear winner in this year's general election.

Sterling jumped 1.5% higher versus the euro and US dollar immediately after the exit poll predicted an unexpectedly strong performance for the Conservatives.

Another Conservative-led government is seen as a preferred scenario for the pound since it should provide continuity and certainty over the stewardship of the economy.

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GBP/EUR falls to three-month lows in the run up to the election

07 May 2015

Sterling's recent weakness against the euro continued this morning. The pound fell to three-month lows (€1.3358) on the day millions of voters head to the polls to decide what form the next UK government will take.

Opinion polls in the run up to the election are indicating no party will emerge as a clear winner and the uncertainty is continuing to negatively impact sterling's performance against other major currencies.

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Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

Australian dollar gains despite rate cut

05 May 2015

The Australian dollar reached highs of AU$1.91 against the pound this morning despite the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) cutting interest rates overnight.

The central bank cut rates by 0.25% to historic lows of 2% on the back of rising property prices, a strong Australian dollar and the falling price of iron ore.

For the latest indicative exchange rates please visit here.

Please call us now on 0117 311 3257 to find out how this affects your currency requirements, or for a live exchange rate quote.

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