Posted by Allison on 16 April 2009, 12:06
It is becoming rather demoralising to report on the pound’s struggles each week. We are constantly looking for signs of an upturn in the pound’s fortunes, and each week we are met with the reality that it just doesn’t seem to be happening.
Of course it should be the case that eventually we will have some good news to report. During the last few weeks it seems to be the case that the pound either does badly across the board, or it performs well against one currency and poorly against all the rest.
Last time we did have something of a better week though. We didn’t get the improvements that we wanted, but here and there we lost far less than we had in the previous weeks. That is a small change and a tiny victory almost, but we have to grab onto anything we can at the moment.
One thing is certain though. Any improvement in the exchange rates is nowhere near as good as we would like it to be. And it certainly doesn’t push the rates high enough to warrant thinking about a good value foreign holiday any time soon. The currency converter is still having a hard time giving us the figures we would ideally like to see. So all we can do is to hope that things may eventually get better.
It is likely to be quite some time yet before that happens though. As you will see from this week’s figures, gleaned from the last full week of trading between the dates above, there is a long way to go yet before we are back on an even keel.
Okay, so here we go with this week’s report on the currency markets for last week. You will know that our first stop as always is America, so let’s see how the British pound did against the American dollar.
How did we fare last time? Well we finished up on 1.4318, after losing a little over a cent over the week as a whole. When you hold that performance up against the other results we have grabbed recently, you can actually see what we mean about celebrating small losses, instead of commiserating large ones!
But what happened last week? Did we manage to pull a good result out of the bag for once?
Let’s find out. Monday wasn’t the best start to the week that we could have had, that’s for sure. By the time the markets had limped to a close, the British pound had slipped back down to 1.4199. We seem to be unable to claim back the $1.50 territory that we are so desperate to see again.
Tuesday showed a little sign of improvement, but all it meant was that we ended up regaining some of the losses of Monday. So even though we improved over the day as a whole, we were still down on where we had finished the previous week.
The midweek point did at least keep up the momentum though, as we managed to claw back some more and finish on 1.4388. This actually meant that we went higher than the starting point we’d got going on. That was good – but could we stay there?
As it happened Thursday had a surprise in store. And it wasn’t going to be a nasty surprise either. This was going to be a great surprise that for once was very welcome for the British pound. Perhaps somewhat unbelievably, the closing rate on that day ended up as 1.4669. That meant we had added on a total of nearly three cents since the day before. We were in a pretty good position to make it a successful week – if only we could prevent the pound going into reverse before that week came to a close.
Given some of the results we have seen previously, you would be forgiven for being somewhat cynical at this point. We knew that we could lose that tenuous advantage in the space of twenty four hours, but we also knew we really had to hang onto it if we could.
And not only did we make that happen, we also managed to add a bit more on as well. The final exchange rate for the week turned out to be 1.4764. So we had managed to increase our standing by nearly four and a half cents in just a single week. What a great result to start our report with for once!
So let’s see whether we can build on that and report on some good news for the pound against the Euro as well. Last time we had a small gain over the Euro, and finished up on 1.0770 for the week. Could we do the same as we had in the US and build on that result this time around?
Well there wasn’t much in it at all on that first day of trading. By the time the markets closed the exchange rate was standing at 1.0763 – just 0.0007 different from the Friday before. It wasn’t in our favour but the difference was so slight that it didn’t give us anything to worry about.
There was another slight change the next day, sending us down to 1.0743. Was this going to be a week of small differences for the pound against the Euro, we wondered, or was there more in store?
As it happened the tide was going to turn in our favour once again. Wednesday brought with it a closing figure of 1.0862 – giving us some hope that we might actually see the heady figure of 1.10 Euros to the pound some time soon. Maybe it wouldn’t happen this week… but could we get any closer to it?
The following day we did take another huge jump in that direction. The final figure as the markets closed for Thursday was 1.0954 – perhaps more than we were actually expecting. And come Friday evening, as everyone headed home pondering on those results, we had a closing figure of 1.0997. Just short of the 1.10 we hoped for, but a lot closer to it than we had dreamed right back at the start of the week.
So we had improved against the Euro as well as the US dollar, building up an extra 0.0227 as a whole. What could we achieve elsewhere, we wondered?
We haven’t had a strong showing against the Hong Kong dollar for a while, so it would be interesting to see whether we could manage something better this week. The starting point was 11.097, after another loss last time.
Typically, given the performance of the pound against the US dollar and the Euro already, the Monday figure was not good. It wasn’t too bad however, finishing on 11.005 for the day. Were we in a good position to think there was nothing to worry about? Could we really improve yet again?
Tuesday seemed to indicate that this was indeed the case. The closing figure as everyone headed home that day was 11.080. Not a huge rise but it did seem to be setting the stage for a pattern that was becoming enjoyably familiar.
Wednesday proved us right. We ended on 11.151 at the midweek point, and with just two days to go and looking at the possibility of another improvement over the week before, things were really getting interesting.
And Thursday was indeed where the big jump came. If we had dreamed up a figure of 11.369 before the week started we may not have believed it. But that is what we had by the close of the penultimate day of the week. Could we do even better and finish with a flourish?
We could. The triumphant pound was clearly going to make the best of this, and it pushed the Hong Kong dollar hard to land on 11.442 for the close of play. That meant we had gained an impressive 0.345 over the course of a single week, giving us plenty to celebrate so far.
Let’s press ahead and move across to New Zealand now. This can be something of an unpredictable country when it comes to the currency head to head, and we were about to see a good example of just that. Our starting point here was 2.5107, so could we do better and add this battle to our wins for the week so far?
Monday actually saw an immediate increase, which left us on 2.5237 for the day. But Tuesday wasn’t so good, as the pound slid back and ended up on 2.5019. Did this mean it was downhill for the rest of the week?
Not according to Wednesday’s figures it wasn’t. By the time we had sailed through the midweek point the pound was claiming 2.5553 New Zealand dollars – a whopping 0.0316 increase in just twenty four hours. There were just two days to go now, so which way would the strength lay?
As it happened we did lose ground on Thursday, ending up on 2.5477, and Friday saw us lose more. At the close of the week the final exchange rate was 2.5258. But thanks to the huge cushion that leap up had given us during the week, we still managed to finish a cent and a half up on the week before.
So it was four out of four – could we make it five out of five for once, or would Australia prove to be the sticking point?
We were starting from 2.0710 this time, and with the Australian dollar as hard to predict against the pound as the New Zealand dollar is, it was anyone’s guess as to what would happen next.
Monday saw first blood go to the British pound, as we finished on a reasonably healthy 2.0865 for the day. But that was followed by a huge drop on the following day, leaving the exchange rate sitting at 2.0644. Could we pull anything back from that?
We did do better on Wednesday as we closed in again and finished on 2.0726. But it would prove to be a choppy week here, as Thursday saw the Australian dollar get the better of us again. The last figure on that day was 2.0590.
One final day to go for the week, and it was looking as if Australia would ruin what would otherwise be a solid five out of five improvements against those main currencies. And indeed that is what happened; the final figure on Friday night was 2.0689. It wasn’t a huge loss – just 0.0021 – but it meant we had four out of five good results, instead of the full house.
Still, it was a very good week and one to be proud of (and possibly relieved about) for the British pound.
The positive news coming out of the G20 summit certainly helped to bolster some currencies last week – not least the British pound.
The host country managed to do better on the currency markets last week than it had in quite some time.
Some may have thought that the US dollar may have been in danger as the reserve currency of choice. But it seems as if it is strong enough – at least for now – to weather all the storms.
The Australian dollar performed better out of this currency pairing last time. The New Zealand dollar finished on 0.8190 for the week, and Monday’s closing figure had been 0.8267.
So there we are for another week. Amazingly enough we can report that it has been a good one for the pound, and it’s been a while since we have been able to say that! So with that in mind let’s finish on a high note – and hope that we can report such good news next time too.
We’ll see you then.