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The pound remains steady at the top end of recent trading ranges

Published: 29 Jan at 9 AM Tags: Pound Sterling, Euro Exchange Rate, Dollar Exchange Rate, Rupee Exchange Rate, Euro Crisis, UK, Economy, Inflation,

The pound remained steady yesterday as the latest UK gross domestic product (GDP) came in exactly in line with expectations with a quarter-on-quarter expansion of 0.7% in the last quarter of 2013 and 2.8% year-on-year according to the initial estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The ONS have previously reported that the UK economy expanded at a rate of 0.8% in the third quarter of 2013.

The 2.8% year on year growth rate is the best annual figure since the first quarter of 2008.

Dr. Howard Archer, Chief European+UK economist at IHS Global Insight suggested that the modest slowdown evident in the numbers reinforced his view that the Bank of England would not be raising rates in the upcoming year, despite the sharp fall in the UK unemployment rate.

Meanwhile, the latest Citi/YouGov survey revealed that average inflation expectations for January 2015 have drifted lower since the last survey.

In the US, data continues to come in decidedly mixed in quality with the Department of Commerce revealing that US durable goods orders dropped by 4.3% month-over-month in December but this is still 4.9% higher year-on-year.

Dr.Harm Bandholz at Unicredit Research said “While the headline growth numbers for the US economy have been looking promising, and might continue to do some for some quarters, the recovery is once again based largely on consumption gains. Investment spending, on the other hand, is lagging behind. That is preventing even stronger GDP gains in the near term, and, more importantly, will be a drag on medium-term growth prospects.”

Tonight sees the publication of the latest policy decision from the US Federal Reserve with some analysts suggesting that monetary policy may be tightened for the second time in 3 months with another $10 billion a month reduction to $65 billion a month. This should be dollar positive but could spark off yet another sell-off in the emerging market currencies where there has been such turmoil of late. Last night, both the Indian and Turkish central banks raised interest rates with the Turkish central bank aggressively raising rates by 5.5% to 10%.