Sterling Strength Following Rise in UK Retail Sales

Some positive news yesterday in the form of strong retail sales led to some Sterling strength against a number of currencies. According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) January retail sales were up to 1.9% compared to the same period last year which is the biggest annual increase since 2011. The BRC stated that the increase can be attributed to technology such as smart phones and tablet sales. This positive news comes at a time when the UK high street is under pressure with Jessops, HMV and Blockbuster the latest names to follow the likes of Woolworths into administration. For the UK to avoid a triple dip recession it is important that we continue to see positive retail figures as it makes up such a large part of our economy.

EUR Retail Sales

Later today we have the European retail sales figures due out with the prediction being that they will show a big improvement from last months very weak figures. While the UK seems to be under significant pressure it has almost masked the issues in Europe and so figures such as this morning retail sales could give a timely reminder that Europe is not out of the woods yet and despite the confidence seemingly coming back to the Eurozone they are still struggling to show growth. As a result a weak figure this morning could present a good opportunity for those clients looking to buy Euros.

Australian Interest Rates Left on Hold

Last night It was announced that, as expected, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) kept interest rates on hold at 3% but did not discount the possibility of further monetary easing. The AUD (Australian Dollar) weakened as the markets had not expected monetary easing to be discussed as openly as it was by the RBA. However, the Aussie Dollar remains very strong against Sterling and as the Chinese economy shows signs of improvement it is possible we will see the AUD strengthen yet further. The Australian economy is very dependent on China as it exports a large amount of its resources there and so when China performs well we often see AUD strength as it means good news for their mining sector. So, if you need to buy AUD or sell AUD then speak to one of our experienced currency brokers today who will be happy to keep you informed of all the latest currency market movement.

If you need to send money abroad and are looking for the best exchange rates make sure you speak to one of our friendly currency brokers who will be happy to discuss your currency requirements and the options available to you. You can call straight through to our dealing floor on 01494 849752 or you can email me directly on