Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Exchange Rates Forecast: Scottish Referendum/Central Banks

Wednesday 10th September 
Good afternoon, and welcome back to my regular currency updates which will resume my blog today. I’ve been in Europe for a week so apologies for the lack of news in recent days. 

Much has happened since I’ve been away however that has had a big impact on exchange rates, so I’ll run over the recent developments and what this means for the Pound against other currencies. The main topic is the Scottish independence vote, so read on to find out how this might affect Sterling. 

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The topics I’m going to cover today are as follows: 

  • ECB cuts interest rates 
  • Mark Carney signals no interest rate rise until 2015 
  • Scottish independence vote causing big swings for the Pound 

ECB cuts interest rates 


Last week’s surprise was the European Central Bank cutting interest rates. I mentioned before I went away that I thought they would announce some sort of stimulus, but I didn’t think they would cut rates again. The Euro weakened and Pound/Euro rates went up, but not by much. 

I was quite surprised to see rates in the €1.24’s against the Euro, but that is because the Pound has also weakened which I will cover in a moment. Against other currencies, the Euro is very weak indeed. 

Mark Carney signals no interest rate rise until 2015 


The Bank of England governor said yesterday rates aren’t going up in the UK until spring 2015. The Pound has weakened on the news, as regular readers will know that in the last few months, talk of an imminent rate rise has been giving Sterling strength. 

However, Carney doesn’t seem to know what he wants, giving conflicting information, and so watch out for any other speeches or comments he makes. If he indicates interest rates may rise, the Pound could gain. If he indicates it’s some way off as he did yesterday, the Pound will fall like it did this morning. 

Scottish independence vote causing big swings for the Pound 


This is the big one. Just today, this story has caused the GBP/EUR rate to drop from 1.25 down to 1.24, and then recover all the way back to 1.25 again. This might not sound like much, but it’s a huge change in a single day, and can make an enormous difference to any currency conversion you may need to do. 

So what’s been going on? The vote for independence is only a few days away, and polls at the moment are around 50/50 as to which way it will go. 

If they vote Yes, then it has serious economic implications. For exchange rates, it could mean the Pound weakening by up to 15% which would send exchange rates plummeting. If they vote No, then the Pound would likely gain strength and rates go up. Either way, there is likely to be significant movement in the price of the Sterling. 

Shell, BP, Standard Life have all made comments today about the potential economic effects, and it is these comments that have been pulling rates all over the place today. 

My View?


This is my personal blog, and my personal view is that many people, especially the 16 & 17 year olds, will be voting with their heart and not their head. They will be using this as a protest vote against the current government. What they don’t realise is this isn’t anything to do with politics, and if they vote Yes, there will be no going back, and a 300 year old union will be gone. I was born in England, but I’m half Scottish, most of my family live there, and I class myself as British. I hope they vote no. A Yes vote will probably bankrupt the country and create a pointless border. 

I think when it comes to the crunch the vote will be no. The alternative could send exchange rates plummeting.

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