Posted by Allison on 16 April 2009, 15:26
We have a short week to report on this time around, because of the Easter holidays.
There is no trading on Good Friday but you can be assured that even though we only had four days in the week last time, we packed plenty into those four days!
Last time around we had plenty to celebrate, as we managed to get good results against four out of the five main currencies that we look at in our weekly report. The Australian dollar was the only one that beat us, but even then it was only by a tiny margin. It was in fact one of the best weeks we have had in a long time.
So the question now is whether we managed to repeat that result last week. Given the situation we find ourselves in at the moment, it would seem to be too much to ask for but you never know - we may have managed to do it!
Of course the Easter break means that this is the first of two reports that will focus on a four day week instead of the usual five day one. Will this have any effect on the figures we are looking at, or will it have very little difference as far as the pound is concerned?
One thing is certain - we do need to have continued good results for it to have any positive effect on the British economy. The pound is still very weak and while we might hope for some increasingly good results, in reality we know that this is unlikely to happen over a long period for quite some time yet.
So let’s see what the markets had in store for us during those four all important days last week. You might be interested to know whether it is worth taking a fresh look at the figures on your currency converter or not.
You will no doubt remember that last time around we had an improvement of four and a half cents against the US dollar. That was certainly something to celebrate, and it put us on 1.4764 as the week came to a close.
So what happened next? Well Monday got off to a great start and clearly the pound was eager to continue the good work it managed to do the week before. By the time Monday 6th came to a close the exchange rate was standing at 1.4909. We were so close to that almost magical $1.50 rate again that it was almost time to celebrate breaking back through that barrier. It seemed strange to think that we might actually make it back up to that level.
But unfortunately any ideas of celebrating would turn out to be rather premature. The 7th was not a day that we would like to remember, because by the time the day was over we were in a very different position to the one we were in just twenty four hours earlier. By this time we were at 1.4645 - and that meant we had lost out on over two and a half cents in just a single day.
So where would we go next? Was this going to be one of those weeks where a great start would turn into a long and depressing rest of the week? We were now halfway through of course, given the fact that there would be no trading on Friday.
Wednesday brought some better news as we managed to claw back a bit of ground, but it wasn’t nearly as much as we would have liked. By the close of play on that day we were standing at 1.4711, so we had gained back a little over half a cent, but not enough to get anywhere near the $1.50 mark again.
So we now had just one day left to try and turn the week around. It did look as if it was going to be a good week to start off with, but how quickly things can change. And unfortunately Thursday did not turn things around yet again. We finished up with a figure of 1.4676 as we went into the long Easter weekend. That meant we had lost a total of 0.0088 over the four days as a whole - not perhaps as bad as you might have thought watching those exchange rates change over the course of the week. But bad enough to take us further away from the $1.50 mark that we came so very close to regaining on Monday.
So let’s move swiftly on now and see whether we could manage to do any better against the Euro. Once again we had a good showing the week before as we drew further away from parity and finished up on 1.0997. What could we achieve this time around? Could we gain another two Eurocents as we had the week before?
Well once again Monday got off to a good start as we finally broke through the 1.10 mark that we had come so close to the week before. By the time everyone headed home on Monday evening, the pound was claiming 1.1047 Euros.
But could it maintain that level, or would it end up nose diving from here on in just as it had against the US dollar?
As it happened the result bucked that little trend, albeit not by much. By the close of play on Tuesday the exchange rate had crept up ever so slightly further to 1.1049. That only represented a change of 0.0002, but anything that went in our favour was very welcome indeed.
So what would the remaining two days of the week bring? Would we manage to hold up this performance and gain some more ground over the Euro, or would it finally win the day before Easter began in earnest?
As it happened the Euro had the upper hand on Wednesday as we finished on 1.1119 for the day. But it wasn’t much of a difference, and we were still ahead of where we had finished the week before.
And as Thursday came to a close, we realised that although we weren’t going to gain a lot of ground against the Euro, we would finish this shorter week in a better position than we had started it. The final exchange rate for the week was 1.1057 - which meant we had gained 0.006 of a Eurocent over the four days as a whole.
It would have been even nicer to gain more, but at least we were above the 1.10 level we had tried to gain last time around. Better luck next week for pushing it still higher, perhaps?
Let’s move on to the Hong Kong dollar now, which once again we managed to get a good result against last time. The final exchange rate then was 11.442, which meant we had added a full 0.345 over the week. What could we achieve this time?
Well once again you could see evidence of Monday being a great day for the British pound. It was better for the pound than for the Hong Kong dollar anyway, as we managed to add more to the exchange rate by finishing on 11.556.
But once again Tuesday let us down somewhat as we slipped back and ended up on 11.351. What was in store now as we had just two days left to try and make up some ground?
Wednesday saw the pound regaining a little strength and clawing back some of the lost ground from the day before. By the end of that day we had finished on 11.402, giving us a better figure to appreciate but still not getting level on the closing exchange rate of the week before. What could we do on the one day we had left?
As it turned out, we couldn’t do very much at all. We slid back once again and landed on 11.374 for the end of the week. That meant the Hong Kong dollar had bettered us this time around, and we had lost 0.068 over the course of the week as a whole. Better luck next time, perhaps?
When we visited New Zealand last time we saw that we got a good result over the week as a whole, thanks to a good performance mid week more than anything else. We had ended up on 2.5258 by the Friday evening, so what could we do to improve that this time around, if anything?
Monday got off to a good start as we managed to increase our strength slightly and finish on 2.5323. But if you were expecting a dip down on Tuesday as we have seen against other currencies, that wasn’t what we were going to get here. As it turned out we improved things still further and ended up on 2.5410.
So with two good days done and two days to go, what would happen now?
Well Wednesday had another good result in store, as we finished up on 2.5532. That meant we had gained well over two and a half cents since the close of the previous week. But with one day still to go, anything could happen.
And unfortunately that is exactly what happened - but it didn’t go in our favour. By the time everyone packed up for their Easter holidays the pound was claiming a total of 2.5293 New Zealand dollars. That meant we had lost a total of over two cents in a single day. But since last week we had still managed to gain a small amount - 0.0035 all in all. Not that much but still better than it could have been, considering the ups and downs of the week.
And so finally we turn our attentions to the Australian dollar. Last time around we managed to end up on 2.0689 after a tiny loss over the week as a whole. What would happen now? Could we expect to have a great start to the week as we had in most of the other countries?
As it happened that was exactly what we had. By the time the markets closed on Monday we had pushed the exchange rate between the British pound and the Aussie dollar to 2.0939, giving us a nice margin with which to start the week.
But as we have seen elsewhere it doesn’t always mean you finish the week the same way. Tuesday finished up with an exchange rate of 2.0678 - way down on the day before and slightly below the finishing point of the previous week. What would happen next?
We improved things a little the following day to 2.0730, but by the time Thursday came to a close and the week ended, we had dipped down a little further again to 2.0560. That meant the Aussie dollar had won the day this week, giving us a loss for the week of a little over a cent.
So it was quite an interesting week all in all - although we didn’t always get the results we wanted.
The US dollar is probably one of the stronger currencies at the moment, and it has shown this by ending the week on a good footing with the Japanese yen.
But the question is whether this good footing can continue on a longer term.
The Eurozone is worried about the degree of sterling’s fall in value over recent months. Even though the fall is disturbing it can be seen by some as being beneficial in certain areas, and this is what the Eurozone is concerned about.
Exporting goods is beneficial when the pound is low, so it will be interesting to see what will happen in the weeks to come.
The British pound was not strengthened by the news that the Bank of England wasn’t changing its rates last week.
Nothing seems to keep the pound on an upward turn just at the moment. We must hope for better results in the future.
So here we are at the end of another report. It was a mixed week and a shorter one too. But we’ll be here again next week to see whether the short week after the Easter break is any better.
We’ll see you then.