Posted by Allison on 4 January 2017, 13:15
This would not be an occasion where the old year finishes in the same week the New Year begins. Instead, we say goodbye to 2016 this week, in readiness to begin 2017 next time around. So, how did the pound close out the year?
The week began with Boxing Day, as Christmas Day had fallen on the Sunday. So, the first day would not be a trading day, therefore giving us only four days to examine this week.
The pound began on 1.2249 against the US dollar, so could it put in a good performance to close out the year? The first two days of the four-day week did not go well, taking the pound from that opening rate back to 1.2218 by Wednesday evening. Fortunately, the final two days of the week (and the year) were somewhat better. We managed to perk up and achieve a closing rate of 1.2311 on the 30th, so at least we were well-positioned to begin the New Year in better fashion.
We had a similarly-disappointing start against the euro. Opening on 1.1726 from the previous week, we dropped to 1.1723 by Tuesday evening when trading resumed. After a better performance that took us to 1.1747 on Wednesday, it unfortunately turned out to be downhill all the way for the remainder of the week. This meant the British pound finished on 1.1679 – lower than we had started with and a more fragile position to start the New Year.
Over to Hong Kong now, where the pound had stalled on 9.5064 before Christmas. The pattern here followed that shown against the US dollar, with two bad days followed by two good ones. By Wednesday, we were sitting on 9.4791 and by Friday we had recouped some of our losses. Indeed, we were better off than we had been by finishing on 9.5483.
Our next stop is in New Zealand, where the pound started the festive week worth 1.7818. We had several bad days here though, taking the pound down to 1.7631 by the time Thursday evening arrived. We managed to improve that position by Friday night when we achieved a rate of 1.7704, but we couldn’t finish the week in a better state to when we’d started.
Finally, we have one visit to pay to Australia to see how things would shape up there. The pound started the week on 1.7080 but this soon dropped to 1.7036 by Tuesday night. The remainder of the week did not look promising either, despite a last-minute improvement from 1.7004 to 1.7047 on Friday. This had not been the best week for the British pound.
At least we managed to celebrate a slight rise here, as the pound went from 1.6554 to 1.6571 by the time the year was over.
It wasn’t all good news though, as we already know. Here, we managed to fall from 1.2560 to 1.2542 over the course of the four-day week.
There was more bad news here as well to finish the year. The pound went from 139.270 to 138.974 over the course of this short week.
So, it has been a mixed week to close out 2016. We now have a long weekend to welcome in the New Year before we all get back to normal on Tuesday 3rd January. That means we have another shorter week to contend with next week, and from then we will be back to full weeks for a while at least.
The British pound has had a rough year this year, particularly since the Brexit vote earlier in the summer. It remains to be seen what 2017 has in store for the currency, but it is fair to say it could be a dramatic one. We will be there every step of the way. Happy New Year!