In today’s report I’ll take a look at the Sterling/Euro exchange rate forecast, and also what data releases the rest of the week has in store and how they could affect exchange rates. Today the Pound has fallen against other currencies due to the lowest inflation figures on record.
The Pound/Euro rate has been repeating its recent trend of rising above the €1.35 mark, only to drop back away within days. This has happened again this morning, with the rate falling from €1.3550 to €1.3450 over the course of this morning. What’s been going on?
Continued uncertainty over what is happening in Greece has continued to weaken the Euro, and that’s what keeps pushing the rate higher However with very low UK inflation numbers this morning, the Pound has fallen back away which is why GBP/EUR exchange rates have dropped. To be honest I think sooner or later, the Greeks will reach an agreement with the EU regarding its debts, and when this uncertainty is removed, the Euro could gain back some of its losses and bring GBP/EUR even lower. I personally don’t expect rates to stay at the €1.35 level for long.
Supporting that view was this morning’s UK inflation figures. The rate of UK Consumer Prices Index inflation fell to 0.3% in January, its lowest level since records began in 1989.
On the one hand, this does provide a respite for consumers in the UK and increase spending power so it’s good news. On the other hand however, it means interest rates in the UK aren’t going anywhere, and so the Pound has weakened off.
(Low interest rates usually weaken a currency and it’s this fact that’s keeping the Pound in check.)
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What else could move exchange rates this week?
Tuesday 17th February 2015
This morning we had the latest inflation figures, and they were slightly worse than expected. This means it’s getting less and less likely that interest rates will be going up any time soon in the UK, and the Pound has fallen today by over a cent against the Euro.
Wednesday 18th February 2015
Today is an important one for Sterling, as at 09:30am we will see the latest unemployment figures, and the Bank of minutes. I expect the unemployment number to remain at 2.6%, but if it’s higher than this expect the Pound to fall and vice versa. The BoE minutes will be important as it will show if any of the Banks Monetary Policy committee voted to hike interest rates at their last meeting. I would expect this to show all members voting to keep rates on hold in light of the recent inflation numbers.
Thursday 19th February 2015
Nothing of note from the UK today, however the Eurozone has a monetary policy meeting and a consumer confidence release, that could affect GBP/EUR rates. The USA also has some important jobs and manufacturing numbers today, so we could also see changes in the Pound/Dollar rate.
Friday 20th February 2015
Today is another important one for Sterling as we have the latest UK Retail Sales numbers. I expect these to be around the 5.9% mark, and any deviation from this figure could cause the Pound to move against other currencies. Retail Sales figures are important as they are a good overall barometer of economic activity.
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