With the pound finally finding some support after a very challenging couple of weeks a very valid question at present is whether or not the pound has now bottomed out. The first reflections following the flash crash which saw GBPEUR hit 1.09 and GBPUSD 1.18 indicated we would see a move lower to perhaps parity on GBPEUR and 1.10 on GBPUSD. Will this now start to materialise or will the rate gently rise as market spotlights focus elsewhere?
Sterling has dropped almost 20% on its TWI (Trade Weighted Index) since the Referendum vote. Billions of pounds of value of the UK economy has been written down as investors fears over the UK’s future relationship with its biggest trading partner manifest on the currency markets. Yesterday’s news on Unemployment shows the economy is still creating jobs, we finally saw some rises in Inflation too this week. A welcome knock on effect from the weakness of sterling versus the deflationary situation only a few months ago.
With the political developments remaining the big driver on sterling we have to be preparing for further losses for the pound. Whilst the Brexit seems to some of us like it has been going on for ages it has only been 4 months since the vote. When we step back from this situation and perhaps reflect on the vote in further months and years to come we will view now as the very infant stages of what is going to be a very long and drawn out process. In such an environment it is difficult o be overly positive for the pound and whilst we might have some small bounces like we have seen this week to help anyone holding the pound, I would not suggest this will be indicative of a move much higher in the short term.
Key information for anyone buying or selling the pound comes this morning with UK Retail Sales and then in the afternoon today we have the latest ECB (European Central Bank meeting) where we may learn of any fresh approach by the Eurozone to manage their economy. Any suggestions on future policy direction may cause volatility on GBPEUR rates as well as GBPUSD since swings on EURUSD impact both of these pairs.
I wouldn’t be betting that the pound has now bottomed out since there are still many huge challenges ahead for the UK both politically and economically. The weak pound itself whilst helping Inflation could become more of a problem as it exacerbates the gap between wage growth and prices. I don’t think anyone voted for Brexit to be poorer and one way or another a chronically low pound does make the UK as a net importer worse off.
Sterling is enjoying some of its best news in October with some big improvements particularly against the Euro and US Dollar but it has improved by a small percentage against the Australian dollar and New Zealand dollar too. If you are making a transfer in the future understanding all of your options and the market in advance can really help you to make informed choices about when and how to make your currency exchange. I cannot tell you exactly what to do or what will happen but with nearly tens years experience helping private and business clients plan and manage their FX exposure in a friendly yet professional manner I am sure I can add value with a better rate and some sound analysis.
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The author is Chief Analsyt and Associate Director of the UK’s largest private currency brokerage with nearly ten years experience helping private clients and business plan and manage their FX exposure.