Good news travellers – the pound had a fantastic November.
GBP improved against every single one of the other 17 WeSwap currencies last month – just in time for any Christmas getaways – ho, ho ho!
Shock election results, government policy announcements, and all manner of political developments have meant a consistently inconsistent pound over the last few months.
So what, exactly, has lead to these November gains?
We’ve had a close look at the biggest movers and shakers with in-house expert, Greg.
Remember, it’s never, ever, black and white but this is how we see it:
Pound (£) v US Dollar ($): Pound up by 2.3% (1 Nov – 30 Nov 2016)
Greg: “Trump election generally drove the USD higher (expectations of inflation thus interest rates hike via economic boost) but less so than the pound”.
Business is rather high on Republican businessman Donald Trump’s agenda which is seen as a positive of the US economy. Suggestions of improved future trade relations between a Brexited Britain and the US have helped the pound too. At the start of the month, £1 bought $1.22, that was up to $1.27 by the early days of December.
Pound (£) v Japanese Yen (¥): Pound up by 12% (1 Nov – 30 Nov 2016)
Greg: “People exit the boring safe-haven and look for yield elsewhere, typically USD with likely rising interest rates. Some investors have to unwind bets against GBP”
Basically, the Yen benefitted from post-Brexit referendum uncertainty and leading up to the US elections investors looked for a safe haven away from Europe and America. That trend has bucked as confidence in the big three (USD, EUR and GBP) slowly improves.
November 1st: £1 = ¥127. November 30th: £1 = ¥143.
Pound (£) v Turkish Lira (₺): Pound up by 14% (1 Nov – 30 Nov 2016)
Greg: “Continued political unrest and political unrest and fears on a deficit that needs to be financed by foreign investors”.
The Lira has hit a series of record lows recently, hit by the resurgent dollar as well as uncertainty over Turkey’s domestic politics and security. The Turkish bank’s rates increased last month for the first time in three years but it has done little to help the Lira. On November 1st £1 only got you ₺3.81, 30 days later and you pocketed ₺4.27. Sizeable.
Pound (£) v Polish Zloty (zł): Pound up by 10% (1 Nov – 30 Nov 2016)
Greg: “Degradation of economy behind the consistently weak zloty. Also the looming risk of down-grade by agencies. But they just dodged it”.
The breakdown of Poland’s third-quarter GDP published on November 30th showed a pick-up in consumption and an accelerated decline in investments. Interestingly, Jerzy Kropiwicki, a member of the central bank’s rate-setting panel, said earlier this year that a weak zloty is actually good for exports and the economy.
Back on the first day of November, £1 = zł4.76 whereas at the end of the month £1 got travellers zł5.20.
Pound (£) v Euro (€): Pound up by 6% (1 Nov – 30 Nov 2016)
Greg: “Worries about the rise of nationalism and instability in Europe, together with decent post-Brexit economic releases in the UK, talks about various ways to try and stay in the Single Market and unwind of short GBP positions all fuelled the GBP rally against EUR”
The man behind sterling’s latest surge is Brexit minister David Davis, who announced the Government would consider making payments to the EU budget in return for access to EU markets. £1 bought £1.10 at the start of November. At the end of November £1 bought €1.16.
If you have any thoughts or questions about the strength of the pound then pop them in the comments section below.
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