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Greek bailout still uncertain

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Pound Sterling

For the first time in almost a week the Pound strengthened against the Euro. Sterling managed to snap six days of losses against the common currency and bounce back from yesterday’s two-week low, gaining 0.3 per cent, but was largely unchanged against the US Dollar. Heightened speculation that the Bank of England will have to initiate further stimulus kept the Pound on track for a third week of declines against its American counterpart. In the absence of significant economic news for the UK movement in the currency is likely to result from developments in Europe and the US.

US Dollar

After gaining on its major rivals in recent days the ‘Greenback’ lost ground against several of its riskier competitors as concerns regarding US economic recovery grew. Although declining US retail sales and an increase in US jobless claims were largely attributed to the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, fears that the world’s largest economy may not be able to avoid the impending ‘fiscal cliff’ have left investors wary. More positively, the ‘Cable’ was able to post gains against its safe-haven rival the Japanese Yen on the back of uncertainty regarding the outcome of the Japanese election. Of interest today are the US industrial production figures for October.

The Euro

Although the Euro proved unable to hold on to gains made against the British Pound the common currency climbed against its safe-haven rivals, achieving a six-day high against the US Dollar and a two-week high against the Japanese Yen. In spite of recent reports showing that the 17-nation currency bloc has slipped into its second recession in four years US ‘fiscal cliff’ concerns allowed the Euro to advance. However, with uncertainty still shrouding the Greek bailout gains are likely to be short lived. Over the course of the day slight movement may result from Eurozone and Italian trade balance figures for September.

Australian Dollar

Increasing apprehension over the Gaza strip combined with faltering confidence in global economic recovery to drive down worldwide stocks and push the Australian Dollar within 0.1 per cent of a three-week low against its US counterpart. Two days of losses were also retained by the ‘Aussie’ following a statement made by the International Monetary Fund. The IMF asserted that the Reserve Bank of Australia has the room to ease further should the economy require more stimulus, adding to the downward pressure on the South Pacific currency.

New Zealand Dollar

Weakening stock markets and dissipating risk aversion caused the New Zealand Dollar to broadly soften. The ‘Kiwi’ record declines against several of its most traded peers but gained on the Japanese Yen on the back of discussions regarding Japan’s upcoming elections. A lack of economic news from New Zealand means ‘Kiwi’ volatility is likely to be limited today but movement can be expected next week following the ‘fiscal cliff’ meeting between US President Barack Obama and Republican lawmakers.

Canadian Dollar

Economic concerns in the US and a generally declining ‘Greenback’ allowed the Canadian Dollar to gain following a recent run of losses. The ‘Loonie’ ended trade yesterday 0.2 per cent higher against its neighbouring currency. The only Canadian news scheduled for release today is international securities transactions for September, but this data is unlikely to trigger significant fluctuations in the currency.

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