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Greece implement new austerity measures

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Pound Sterling

The Pound has strengthened for a second day against the Euro ahead of the Bank of England announcing whether it will expand its monetary stimulus for the first time since August, they will also reveal whether they will change the interest rate.

Sterling is trading close to a five-week high against the single currency rising by 0.1% in the early hours of the morning. Against the US Dollar the Pound has weakened as investors favour the safe-haven Dollar due to the UK’s proximity to the troubled Eurozone.

US Dollar

The ‘Greenback’ continues to trade upwards against most of its major peers as investors seek refuge amidst concerns that re-elected President Barrack Obama, and the US Congress will clash over averting the potentially damaging fiscal cliff. The currency also benefited from concern surrounding the crucial parliamentary vote in Greece over whether to approve a new round of austerity measures. The bill just scraped through giving some support to the Euro and reversing some of the US Dollars gains.

The Euro

The Euro took heavy losses yesterday due to investor fears over the Greek parliament’s ability to implement a new round of austerity measures and worries that the US will implement strict budget cuts in the near future. As a result the safe-haven currencies benefitted at the expense of the Euro.

Today Euro traders should be aware of the European Central Banks press conference due to held this afternoon. While the European Central Bank is not expected to change interest rates, the press conference could provide important clues as to the current state of the Eurozone economic recovery, especially with regards to Greece. Any signs that the Greek economy is sinking deeper into recession may lead to additional Euro losses today.

Australian Dollar

The ‘Aussie’ has touched a seven-week high against the New Zealand Dollar as employment gains in Australia exceeded expectations. As a result of the good news, investors reduced their bets that the Reserve Bank of Australia will cut borrowing costs next month. The number of people employed increased by 10,700 last month, causing the nation’s unemployment rate to decrease to 5.4%.

New Zealand Dollar

The ‘Kiwi’ has slumped against the majority of its most traded peers after the country saw its unemployment rate rise to a 13-year high, adding to evidence that the nation’s economy is faltering. The jobless rate soared to 7.3% from 6.8% in the second quarter, the highest increase since 1999 and far more than expected. As a consequence the ‘Kiwi’ tumbled to a two-week low and saw investors flee to safer currencies such as the US Dollar and Australian Dollar.

Canadian Dollar

The ‘Loonie’ ended yesterday’s session down against the US Dollar as relief over Barrack Obama’s election victory turned sour as investors realised that the re-elected President could face a difficult task to stop economically damaging tax hikes coming into effect at the end of the year. The currency was also affected by a drop in commodity prices and the ongoing worries over the Euro crisis.

South African Rand

The Rand has weakened against the Dollar as investors turned their attention away from the US Presidential election results to concerns about the impending fiscal cliff in the US economy. Traders in the Rand should keep an eye out for the release of the nation’s latest manufacturing production numbers for September. The data will give an indication of the health of the key factory sector.