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All eyes on the Federal Reserve

Published: 18 Sep at 9 AM Tags: Pound Sterling, Euro Exchange Rate, Dollar Exchange Rate, Euro Crisis, UK, Inflation,

All eyes remain firmly focused on the announcement, due at 7 PM UK time tonight from the US Federal Reserve as to their latest policy move.

Ahead of this, we have the release of the minutes from the Bank of England’s own policy meeting from the beginning of the month which will give the markets an insight into the latest thinking from UK policy makers.

Yesterday, the pound kept hold of the 8 month high’s recently registered against both the euro and US dollar, despite data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) which showed that UK inflation grew at a slower pace in August compared to July.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI), the headline measure of inflation, fell from its 2.8% reading in July to 2.7% in August, broadly in line with market expectations.

The ONS report states “These latest numbers continue the trend of broadly steady inflation seen since spring 2012. Taking a longer term view, the three main contributors to the 12-month rate of inflation in the last five years have been food and non-alcoholic beverages; housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels; and transport (including motor fuels). Combined, these three sectors have, on average, accounted for over half of the 12-month inflation rate each month.”

The Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure of inflation rose from a 3.1% rate registered in July to 3.3% in the year to August.

Another day bought another report on the UK housing market. This time, this highlighted that the average house prices in England have now surpassed their all-time peak of January 2008 to register a new record high in July with house values rising by 3.3% from a year ago. It is worth keeping in mind that of the 3.3% gain, 2.5% of that gain was driven by the London and the South East property market.

The euro found some support after a better than expected German sentiment survey with the respected ZEW indicator commenting that economic expectations for Germany increased 'considerably' in September.