Tag Archives: Euro

Euro Talks

Euro Talks Calendar
Monday: Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel meet to try and agree a plan for tighter eurozone controls
Italian PM Mario Monti seeks parliamentary approval for his austerity package
Ireland’s government begins to unveil details of its proposed austerity budget
Tuesday: US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner arrives in Germany before travelling to France and Italy for talks with euro leaders
Wednesday: The talking continues as many EU leaders gather in Marseille for a European People’s Party congress
Thursday: ECB’s monthly policy meeting could produce new measures
Thursday and Friday: Crucial EU summit in Brussels to consider Sarkozy-Merkel plan


Today the Pound has traded between 1.1623 and 1.1669 against the Euro and between 1.5589 and 1.5667 against the US Dollar. The Euro currently trades at 1.3450 against the US Dollar.

The following exchange rates are shown for indicative purposes only. Please note the rate you are able to achieve will depend on the amount of currency being purchased. Please do not hesitate to contact the dealing team on +44 (0) 1695 581 669 for a live quote.

05/12/11 14:18

Bank of England Quarterly Inflation Report & Eurozone Bond Yields

Today’s Bank of England Quarterly Inflation Report has suggested that UK inflation has peaked and is likely to fall sharply from its current rate of 5% (down from 5.25% in the previous month September) to 1.3% over two years. The Bank has also cut its UK economic growth forecasts to 1% for 2011 & 2012 but indicated growth should climb towards 3.1% in two years.

Both the outlook to economic growth and inflation are seen as unusually uncertain and much will depend on developments in the Eurozone, the Eurozone debt crisis posing the single biggest risk to the UK economy.

Current forecasts suggest that UK interest rates are likely to remain low for a prolonged period of time with the first interest rate hike from the Bank of England not expected until at least 2013 whilst the prospect of further Quantitative Easing remains a strong possibility.

The debt crisis continues in Europe with Italian 10 year debt trading back above the unsustainable level of 7% and the yield of Spanish government bonds back above 6%. Besides the usual suspects, debt market yields of France, Austria, Netherlands and Belgium have also risen sharply, hitting Euro era highs. Moreover, the spread between French and German 10 year debt has also hit a fresh high.

Clearly the debt crisis poses a significant threat to the value of the Euro, the Euro has been surprisingly resilient so far but over the medium term I would expect the Euro to fall against the US Dollar and Sterling.

On the interbank market the Pound is currently trading between 1.57-1.58 against the US Dollar and between 1.16-1.17 against the Euro.

Please do not hesitate to contact the dealing team on +44 (0) 1695 581 669 for a live quote.

Euro Uncertainty

Financial markets have responded negatively to the unfolding drama surrounding the Greek bailout, with equities and the Euro starting November under strong selling pressure.

EURGBP fell from last week’s high of 0.8830(GBPEUR 1.1325) to a low of 0.8548 (1.16986) yesterday and is currently trading around 0.8611 (1.1613).

Against the US Dollar the Euro fell from last week’s high of EURUSD 1.4247 to 1.3608 yesterday, again the Euro has pared some of its losses and EURUSD currently trades at 1.3783.

The Greek cabinet has endorsed Greek Prime Minister Papandreau’s controversial plan to hold a referendum on the EU debt rescue package and the market will now await the outcome of today’s talks between Papandreau and his French and German counterparts President Sarkozy and Chancellor Merkel ahead of Thursday and Friday’s G20 summit and Thursday’s European Central Bank interest rate decision.

Please do not hesitate to contact the dealing team on +44 (0) 1695 581 669 for further information or a live quote.

11:30 02/11/11

EU Debt Crisis Deal

The Euro has appreciated following the EU summit deal on the Eurozone debt crisis. The agreement came after prolonged late night talks and for the time being has convinced the financial markets they have a response to the economic crisis. The deal will focus on 3 key points:

Firstly, private banks will be asked to accept a 50% loss on Greek government debt. This is expected to cut the nation’s debt load to 120% of GDP in 2020. Under current conditions, it would have grown to 180%.

Secondly, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) will be leveraged four-five times and increased from €440 billion to €1 trillion.

Finally, the deal will aim to recapitalise European banks, which will be required to increase their core cash reserves to 9% by June 2012.

The Euro has appreciated back above 1.40 against the US Dollar and above 0.8760 (GBPEUR 1.1416) against the Pound. The market is likely to remain volatile and will continue to await and scrutinise the finer technical and legal detail and implementation of the agreement.

Bank of England Minutes

The Pound continues to trade either side of 1.14 against the Euro and around 1.57 against the US Dollar following the release of this morning’s Bank of England minutes.

The minutes showed that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted unanimously in favour of increasing its current Quantitative Easing Asset Purchase Programme by a further £75bn to £275bn.

The minutes revealed that the MPC considered extending Quantitative Easing between £50bn-£100bn.

The Bank of England’s next monetary policy decision is due on the 10th November. Despite the latest inflation data hitting 5.2%, 3.2% over the Bank’s 2% target. The Bank remains committed to its view that inflation should have peaked and will begin to fall back rapidly in 2012.

European Sovereign Debt Crisis

The European sovereign debt crisis continues to pose a significant threat to the recovery of the Euro-zone and to the wider global economy. The €109bn bail-out agreed in July for Greece may have averted an immediate significant Greek default and contagion spreading to Ireland, Italy, Portugal, and Spain but the Euro-zone continues to face significant challenges. In fact, despite Greece’s significant austerity measures, figures released by the Greek government over the weekend project that the 2011 deficit will be at 8.5% of GDP, well short of the 7.6% target agreed to secure the first bailout. Greece needs to secure the next tranche from the bailout fund of €8bn or it will run out of cash this month. Therefore for the time being Greece will remain firmly in the spotlight.

The ongoing uncertainty over the economic recovery in the UK and Euro-zone has caused some uncertainty in the outlook in the Pound -Euro (GBPEUR) exchange rate. So far the Euro has shown a surprising amount of resilience to the European sovereign debt crisis. Against the Pound the Euro appreciated to a EURGBP high of 0.9083 (GBPEUR 1.1010) at the start of July before falling back to 0.8705 (GBPEUR 1.1488) in the middle of July and settling around 0.8750 (GBPEUR 1.1429) in early August. Throughout September the EURGBP exchange rate traded between 0.8527 (GBPEUR 1.1727) and 0.8795 (GBPEUR 1.1370). The threat of further Quantitative Easing from the Bank of England temporarily weighing on Sterling before Greece once again took the spotlight. Today 3rd October the rate trades in the region of 0.8585 (GBPEUR 1.1645).

In Europe despite the debt crisis, the European Central Bank has increased interest rates to 1.50% compared to the Bank of England’s 0.50%. The full 1% interest rate differential advantage the Euro holds compared to Sterling, coupled with the threat of further Quantitative Easing from the Bank of England has so far prevented the Pound from appreciating significantly against the Euro. Currently we are hopeful that the Pound will eventually make some further progress against the Euro towards 1.18-1.20. However, the fragility of the UK economic recovery and the threat of further Quantitative Easing does pose a threat to this view. We expect to continue to see increased levels of volatility in the foreign exchange markets.

Please do not hesitate to contact Currency Matters on telephone 01695 581 669 to discuss how you can save money and eliminate risk when conducting your foreign currency exchange.

BoE and ECB

The Pound has appreciated against the Euro following today’s Bank of England and European Central Bank (ECB) interest rate announcements. Both Banks kept their interest rates on hold at 0.50% and 1.50% respectively.

However, in the following ECB press conference, ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet struck a more cautious tone, warning that the Euro-zone economy will grow more slowly than previously expected and that the risks to medium-term inflation had moderated.

Whilst stopping short of hinting at rate cuts in the short term, it is now more likely that we could see an interest rate cut from the ECB within the next 12 months. If the current interest rate differential narrows between the UK and the Euro-zone the Pound should gain against the Euro.

The Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) does not hold a press conference following their announcement so the market will eagerly await the release of the MPC minutes on the 21st of September and the Bank of England Quarterly Inflation Report on the 16th November. The possible threat of further Quantitative Easing still poses a significant threat to the Pounds value.

The Euro has depreciated against both the US Dollar and Pound hitting a low earlier of 1.3945 and 0.8705 (1.1487) before recovering modestly.  Elsewhere, the Pound continues to trade either side of 1.60 against the US Dollar.

Currency Update

The Pound has slipped against the US Dollar and the Euro following comments yesterday from Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Martin Weale. Weale stated that the UK risked slipping back into recession and that in his opinion the Bank’s growth forecast of 2.8% and 3.2% for 2011 and 2012 may be too optimistic.

The Pound currently trades at 1.1330 against the Euro and at 1.6375 against the US Dollar. The Euro is up against the US Dollar at 1.4450.

BoE Minutes & UK unemployment data

The Pound has fallen this morning following the release of Bank of England Minutes and UK employment data. The Pound now trades back below 1.14 against the Euro and below 1.64 against the US Dollar.

The Bank of England Minutes revealed that all nine members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted to keep interest rates unchanged at 0.5%, previously two members Martin Weale and Spencer Dale had called for a 0.25% rate hike. Adam Posen continued to be the only member who voted for an expansion of the Bank’s Asset Purchase Programme known as Quantitative Easing. Whilst Quantitative Easing remains at £200bn, some members of the MPC did consider the case for more Quantitative Easing. This softening in the Bank of England’s stance has weighed on Sterling.

Whilst data from the Office for National Statistics showed an increase in the claimant count and an increase in the UK unemployment rate from 7.7% to 7.9% further undermining confidence in the UK economy and Sterling.