The FairFX Foreign Currency Exchange Blog


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The US Federal Reserve signalled yesterday that the economic recovery was gathering strength as it kept rates near zero. The FOMC adopted a general more positive tone in its policy statement. Stock markets rallied and investors are diving back into sterling as risk appetite increases. The inverse correlation between risk appetite and the US dollar is hard to miss in this environment.

The Euro has continued to weaken against other major currencies, against the US dollar the single currency has been pushed back below the 1.4 level. The Euro has also felt the pressure against the pound with Sterling-Euro trading at 1.16 this morning.

The pound has also rallied against the US dollar and looks likely to break out of the sideways range formed over the recent days. The first significant resistance level dollar bulls are expected to defend will be around 1.6310-1.6325.

A clean break above 1.64 will imply further medium term dollar weakness potentially driving cable to the 1.6650 region.

Thursday 28 January 2010, 11:55am

A strong open to the week for sterling as the pound climbs to a six-week high against the US dollar as well as building on its recent rally against the single currency.Comments by Goldman Sachs indicating that the UK is expected to grow faster than other major economies have also been supporting the pound.

It's been a good start to the year for the pound retracing some of its pre Christmas losses against the US dollar. Although it appears that the UK’s economic position is improving, analysts attribute some of the gains to weakness in its trading counterparts, primarily concerns of the economic structure in Greece and general US dollar weakness.

The recent Euro weakness is primarily the result of the Greek national debt crisis. Any decisions made by the ECB will be closely watched by other countries under pressure in the Euro-zone.

Tuesday 19 January 2010, 12:41pm

Since the beginning of June 2009, the pound has been trading in a longer-term range against the US dollar. The 1.6750-1.7000 region has proved to be fairly strong resistance, on the downside the 1.58 level has supported sterling and continues to do so.

An interesting start to the year for sterling, cable opened at 1.6138 and an initial sell off in the opening week pushed cable down to 1.59 where traders supported sterling. Currently, trading back above 1.6250 and looking firm.

The support for sterling has been the result of various economic and fundamental data, more recently policy maker Andrew Sentance has been quoted as saying interest rates may have to increase this year. Analysts believe the comments from the policy maker are a bit premature but markets have seen this as another opportunity to continue to lift sterling.

The pound has now been rallying for the fourth consecutive day against the US dollar.

2009 was a fairly steady year for GBP/EUR many analysts predicted a final quarter rally for the pound against the single currency, but this move failed to materialise. The cross spent most of the year flirting around the 1.11 level. There were a few attempts to break below the 1.05-1.06 region throughout the year but the pound was supported on each occasion.

After a weak open to the year for GBP/EUR, the cross is failing to find any real direction. A small range has been formed between 1.1076-1.1217. Currently, trading at 1.1173.

Wednesday 13 January 2010, 12:44pm

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Wednesday 02 December 2009, 04:18pm

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A poor finish for Sterling last week, the pound was sold against the Euro and US dollar. The UK economy continues to look fragile against the main players across the globe. Last week GBP/EUR traded above 1.13 before finishing the week near its lows at 1.11. A similar move in cable where the market traded at a high of 1.6878 on Monday before being sold back below 1.65

Yesterday in an interview with the Dow Jones, Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis President James Bullard commented that he would prefer to keep the central bank’s asset purchase programme active for an extended period keeping US interest rates low. This morning the US dollar is under pressure on the back of the weekend comments. James Bullard will be a voting member next year. These comments are another nail in the coffin for the US dollars whilst higher yielding currencies continue to prosper. In addition, the surging gold price is certainly not a good indicator for a greenback recovery.

EURO/USD is still trading below the October high of1.5063, this is a key level for FX traders particularly dollar bulls who are looking for this level to hold.

Monday 23 November 2009, 12:15pm

Looking ahead this week, the minutes of the Bank of England November meeting and UK inflation data will give some insight on short term sterling trend. The MPC minutes are due to be released on Wednesday and will give financial markets some indication of sentiment among committee members. If the consensus was that more Quantitative easing was favoured, this may increase the pressure on sterling.

Recent surveys have shown that business confidence fell for a second straight month in October, credit conditions still remain tight. House prices dipped in the first half of November. The UK economy is likely to have a “wavering” and unsteady path to recovery.

Traders will also be watching EUR/USD very closely this week, after making a good attempt to break above this year’s high last week the pair failed at 1.5050. The Euro was quickly pushed back towards 1.48 before finishing the week at 1.49. This move is fairly significant, given the current sentiment of the Euro positioned in severely overbought territory. From a technical perspective the Euro is a better sell at these levels. For now the 1.5063 level is key resistance, it is possible the pair is setting up a reversal pattern.

Monday 16 November 2009, 12:19pm

The Global equity sell off has prompt safe haven buying in currency markets. The US dollar rally has kept the pressure on the Euro and Sterling. Investors will be taking a cautious stance ahead of the major central bank meetings. This morning the pound is failing to find any real direction, there is still some ambiguity as to whether the Bank of England will expand the quantitative easing programme and if so, how far?

This week could potentially set the tone to where the financial markets are expected to finish the year with traders awaiting key decisions from the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and the European Central Bank. Although markets are not expecting a change in base rate by the Federal Reserve, comments will be followed carefully as traders begin to speculate on the direction of monetary policy. If the markets choose to take a cautious stance we would expect the dollar to appreciate as the “safe haven” currency of choice.

Although it is widely expected the Bank of England will extend the Asset Purchase Facility from £175 billion, there is some debate as to how far. A significant rise could see the pressure come back onto Sterling across all board.

Monday 02 November 2009, 10:40am

Shocking GDP figures released on Friday lead to aggressive sterling selling across the board. The UK economic data showed a surprise contraction in UK economic growth. These figures have damaged sentiment cutting into optimism about economic recovery prospects. The data release wiped out all the gains made by sterling during the week. UK interest rates are expected to remain lower for longer and further quantitative easing may be required.

This afternoon we have seen some aggressive selling in the Euro against the US dollar, this has led to divergence in Sterling. The pound currently trading back at 1.0980 against the Euro and 1.6320 against the US dollar.

Monday 26 October 2009, 05:40pm

A positive week for sterling last week, the pound has managed to hold onto recent gains, trading above 1.10 today against the Euro and currently at 1.64 against the US dollar. It going to be a busy week for economic data, dollar weakness is expected to remain as market participants continue to move into riskier assets and higher yielding currencies. Recent sterling strength has made it much more attractive for clients interested in purchasing Euros and US dollars. Many clients have took advantage of the rates by locking in forward contracts for short term requirements.

Tomorrow the bank of England are due to release their minutes from their previous policy meeting. Trader will begin to speculate on discussions surrounding quantitative easing. Any indication that policy makers are less inclined to extend quantitative easing any further could see sterling extend its recent gains. Equally, any talk of an expansion could see aggressive sterling selling.

Tuesday 20 October 2009, 05:19pm

Tags: bank of england, economic data, euro, euros, us dollars

Investors focus will turn to the budget today announced by UK chancellor Alistair Darling. UK debt will be the centre of attention. The IMF was forced to withdraw a claim that Britain faces a bill of £200bn for the bank bailout. Treasury reports confirmed the figures were inaccurate and issued in error. Sterling is expected to remain fairly choppy today against both the Euro and US dollar. Yesterday was a positive day across the board for the pound.

Wednesday 22 April 2009, 11:50am

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