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Find the best exchange rate when converting your euros to British pounds
If you’re a forex investor or simply looking to trade euros for pounds, get the most for your money with a strong exchange rate.
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How does the euro trade against the British pound historically?
On January 1, 1999, the euro was introduced in 11 states of the European Union (EU) as a “single currency” — or a currency used by all members of an economic federation. At the time of its debut, the euro was at a rate of 1.42 euros to one pound. Despite being an EU member state, the UK chose not replace its country’s currency with the euro.
In the first three years after its introduction, the euro was used only for bank transfers, online transactions and travelers’ checks. But this all changed in January 2002, when euro notes and coins were introduced in the now 12 participating countries, with Greece also willing to use the euro as its official currency.
From 1999 to 2007, the euro held a stable value average of 0.6 against the pound. However, in late 2008 the euro became caught up in the European sovereign debt crisis, which led to an increase of 0.70 pounds to one euro by the end of that year.
What is the European sovereign debt crisis?
The European debt crisis began when the peripheral eurozone member states of Greece, Spain, Ireland, Portugal and Cyprus found themselves unable to repay their government debt due to slowing economies and rising interest rates, among other economic issues. Its effects are still being felt in 2016.
In an attempt to stabilize the euro, the European Financial Stability Facility was created to address the crisis. Rates improved as a result, reaching 0.93 GBP to 1 EUR by October 13, 2009.
The effects of “Brexit” on currency exchange
Since Brexit — or Britain’s proposed exit from the European Union — in June 2016, the GBP has declined against several currencies. For the euro, Brexit could potentially mean that it gains against the pound. We saw the euro jump from 0.79008 against the pound in June 2016, shortly after the Brexit referendum, to 0.841735 in July 2016. Since July 2016, the euro has remained stable at around 0.8 to the pound.
Inflation affects all currencies, including the euro. Countries with high levels of inflation relative to other countries will typically see its currency depreciate so that the prices of goods between countries remain equal. In the eurozone — or the group of nations that trade in the euro — inflation is measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which calculates the price of a selection of goods that an average household is likely to purchase.
Confidence and sentiment
By looking at confidence and sentiment reports, you can also gauge economic conditions in countries that trade in the euro. A popular sentiment report to follow is the German ZEW Survey, prepared each month by the Center for European Economic Research.
All currency is affected by monetary policies, which are constructed by currencies respective to a country’s central bank. For the euro, that’s the European Central Bank. Monetary policies include interest rates that significantly affect the euro.
The growth and health of the eurozone significantly influences the euro, measured by the gross domestic product. For the eurozone, the GDP is a periodic measure of the value of the total goods and services produced in the area. For all currencies, including the euro, growth in GDP is a sign that the economy is strong and healthy.
Balance of payments
The balance of payments is like a country’s accounting record of interaction with the rest of the world. It’s made up of three accounts, but only the current account affects exchange rates. This account reveals how much a country is exporting and importing, as well as the flow of income and transfer payments.
Did you know?
The EUR/GBP currency pair is often referred to by forex traders as trading the “chunnel.”
When transferring money internationally, do your research to ensure that your money goes further in an exchange. With Brexit and other current events, the British economy is shaky — which could mean a better deal when converting your euros to pounds.
Frequently asked questions
If the UK triggers Article 50 of the Brexit referendum in March 2017, then the UK is scheduled to leave the EU by the end of March 2019.
Hundreds of economic indicators can affect the euro, but the five we’ve highlighted — prices and inflation, confidence and sentiment, monetary policy, economic growth and balance of payments — are the most influential.
No, the euro is the world’s second most traded currency after the US dollar.
Shirley Liu is a program manager at finder, formerly the publisher for Banking and Investments. She is passionate about helping people make an informed decision, save money and find the best deal for their needs.
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