A Stark Difference Between Exchange Rates to Start 2016

Posted by Allison on 11 January 2016, 13:56

Happy New Year to all our readers! Get ready for the first full week of trading in 2016, and some interesting results to be shared below.

An overview of the currency markets for January 4th – January 8th 2016

As the week, and indeed the year, got underway, it became clear the year may start with a challenge for the British pound. The opening exchange rate against the US dollar was 1.4833, but this immediately dropped to 1.4764 by the end of day one. It didn’t bode well for the week, and indeed, the remainder of the week went on a downward spiral against the dollar too. By the time the markets closed on the first full week of 2016, the pound had sunk to 1.4574 – a worrying start to the New Year.

So would we experience something similar against the euro as well? Here we started off with a rate of 1.3624, and we dropped on day one here too – this time to 1.3548. However, a jump to 1.3654 on Tuesday showed that perhaps things would be different here. Unfortunately, it soon became clear it would not merely be plain sailing from that moment on. Instead, the pound took on an up-and-down pattern that meant we ended up losing out over the course of the week. Friday’s closing rate turned out to be 1.3419.

Now we compare the pound to another dollar currency – this time the Hong Kong dollar. Would we lose ground on every single day here, just as we had against the US dollar? We opened trading on 11.496, and just as we had feared the first four days saw the pound losing a significant amount of ground. Thursday night ended with a rate of 11.303. Even though we clawed back some of the losses on Friday, the pound still only managed to finish on 11.314.

Our next stop is with the New Zealand dollar. The opening rate was 2.1694, and you would be forgiven for bracing yourself for another raft of losses. However, the picture was slightly different here. Day one brought an increase to 2.1875, and while we saw a couple of losses – notably on Tuesday and Friday – the overall trend was definitely on the up. This meant that by Friday evening, we had managed to push ahead to close on 2.2074. This amounted to an increase of nearly four cents compared to Monday’s opener.

Finally, it’s time to see how the British pound would fare against the Australian dollar. This exchange rate can often mirror that seen in New Zealand, and indeed, that would be the case once again here. With an opening rate of 2.0297 on Monday, we did well to finish on 2.0793 by the time Friday night came along. Again, three days saw increases that were more than enough to cancel out the two poor-performing days. The overall rise was just shy of five cents.

Notable events in the world of currency

A slight drop against the Canadian dollar

While the pound didn’t lose much ground here, it did drop from 2.0595 to 2.0559 over the course of the week.

More bad news against the Swiss franc

The pound wasn’t doing well against European currencies, as was proven here. It began on 1.4762 before sliding to 1.4573 by Friday evening.

Another drop, this time against the Icelandic krona

Here too there was bad news to come early in 2016. The pound began on 191.731 but by the time the week was over, it had dropped back to 189.383.

So as we can see, the first week of the New Year didn’t go the pound’s way, largely speaking at least. While there were a few encouraging results – mainly Down Under – they were few and far between against the major currencies.

However, it is early days and we may yet see a more encouraging pattern emerging as time goes on. Perhaps the remainder of January will produce some stronger results for the British pound. Whether that is the case or not, we will be back next week to report on the results.