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How is the pound performing in 2019?

We look at how the predictions for the pound against the euro and dollar from a group of investment experts have panned out against reality so far this year. Plus a look at what’s ahead in the next six months.

Important notes

This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

In December 2018 we published our Sterling Outlook report. As part of this, we surveyed a range of investment experts to get their thoughts and predictions on the year ahead. We also asked them where they expected exchange rates to be at the middle of the year.

Consensus amongst the experts was for the pound to be trading between €1.20-€1.25 against the euro and $1.30-$1.40 against the US dollar by the middle of 2019.

The first half of the year has been eventful for the currency markets. So far we’ve seen sterling swing between €1.098-€1.180 against the euro and $1.243-$1.338 against the US dollar.

So what’s behind these movements?

Brexit in the driving seat

Brexit has been the most influential force on the pound over the last couple of years, and 2019 has been no different. After a slow start to negotiations, the first six months of the year have seen developments come thick and fast.

Theresa May’s first attempt at getting her withdrawal bill through the Commons resulted in a record defeat, by 432 votes to 202. The Prime Minister would later make a further two attempts before resigning as leader of the Conservatives on 7 June.

Meanwhile the European Central Bank has pledged to keep interest rates at historic lows until 2020, along with a new bout of bond buying aiming to kick start a flagging economy.

Over in the US, a big talking point has been the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) change in outlook for future interest rates. US rates rose four times in 2018 and many were expecting more heading into 2019. But the Fed chair, Jerome Powell, has since hinted at an openness to cut rates if needed. And Donald Trump has been vocal in his desire for lower interest rates to boost business growth.

Want more detail?

In our mid-year report, we dive into the detail of what’s been moving the currency markets so far this year. By downloading this report, you’ll discover:

  • Detailed analysis on the pound’s movements against the euro and US dollar
  • A timeline of Brexit events and how they’ve influenced the pound
  • What’s on the horizon for the rest of 2019
  • How to save on your currency transfers

Find out more


Looking to send money abroad?

You could save time and money with our currency service. You could benefit from:

  • A personal service with direct access to experienced currency specialists
  • Competitive exchange rates and low transfer fees. See how our rates compare to high street banks.
  • Services to help you capture improving exchange rates
  • Fixing an exchange rate for up to two years ahead

Fixing an exchange rate with a forward contract can reduce the risk of exchange rates moving against you, but you won’t benefit if they move in your favour.

See how we can help

The Hargreaves Lansdown Currency Service is a trading name of Hargreaves Lansdown Asset Management Limited, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hargreaves Lansdown Plc, One College Square South, Anchor Road, Bristol, BS1 5HL. Company Registered in England & Wales No. 1896481. It is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as a Payment Institution under the Payment Services Regulations 2017. The Firm Reference number is 115248. The marketing of the currency service is not regulated by the FCA. June 2019.

Important notes

This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

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