Money Saving Guides
The holy grail when you send money abroad is finding an organisation that you can trust and one that offers the best exchange rates along with transparent, smart and straightforward customer service.
Updated: 26 Feb, 2019
The mid-market rate is considered the fairest exchange rate available.
Updated: 23 Jul, 2018
Tips on Buying your dream property abroad.
Updated: 8 Jul, 2018
We take a look at five tips that can help you avoid common mistakes and save money on overseas property purchases.
Updated: 6 Jul, 2018
USD Market Outlook
The US dollar had been falling steadily in the lead-up to the March-20 Fed meeting, and those that were selling the currency amid speculation of a dovish surprise were entirely vindicated after the central bank ditched its December projection for two 2019 interest rate hikes and said it now sees rates unchanged until 2020.
The extent of the Fed’s dovish turn meant that the dollar suffered a rapid and significant correction. The euro leapt on the new projections to a 6-week high against the dollar of $1.145 and other major and emerging market currencies followed suit.
The Fed’s reassessment of future monetary policy reflects concerns over domestic and global economic growth, as well as inflation and risks originating overseas, likely including Brexit.
Earlier this year, ING said the dollar would soon “embark on a gradual long-term bearish trend.”
CIBC said: “A slowdown in the economy is likely to weigh on USD particularly in the second half of this year.”
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Foreign Exchange News
The US dollar crumbled on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve signaled it would keep interest rates unchanged throughout 2019, thereby backtracking on the two rate hikes it predicted in December.
20 Mar, 2019 by
Ant Financial, the Chinese fintech giant that recently acquired WorldFirst, has set its sights on Europe, where it plans to take its share of both cross-border and point-of-sale payments.
19 Mar, 2019 by
Amid declining interest, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, or CBOE, has announced it will no longer offer bitcoin futures contracts once current contracts expire in June.
19 Mar, 2019 by
Euro Market Outlook
Between November and February, the euro was remarkably stable relative to the US dollar, against which it traded for the most part between $1.125 and $1.155. In the days leading up to this report, in March, the euro broke downwards to a 21-month low of $1.118.
Further to Brexit uncertainty, euro weakness followed March’s meeting of the ECB, at which the central bank said it will not raise interest rates until 2020 at the earliest as part of an effort to lift the eurozone economy out of this “period of continued weakness.”
ING analysts wrote in March that they expect the low-yielding euro to continue to depreciate against the dollar over the coming months. Danske Bank predicted a euro dip towards $1.1 before a rally over 3-6 months back into a $1.12-1.16 range.
Reviews – Money Transfer & Currency Exchange
TransferWise has been making waves in the global payments market since it came on the scene back in 2011 and is undoubtedly one of the best services for sending money across borders.
Updated: 20 Mar, 2019
TransferWise’s Borderless Account allows users to hold and convert funds in 40 different currencies, and send and spend internationally, all at the “real” exchange rate and with the low fees that TransferWise is renowned for. Users can also receive major-currency payments free of charge.
Updated: 20 Mar, 2019
WorldRemit – Reviewed by Best Exchange Rates. Send Money Online Anytime, Anywhere. 24/7 online service – no agents to visit. Bank Transfers – Cash Pickup – Mobile Money – Airtime top-up.
Updated: 12 Mar, 2019
Australian Dollar Market Outlook
Following a flash crash in early January, which saw the Australian dollar briefly trade at a 10-year low of $0.674, the Aussie recovered to $0.73, but then, as it had done before the flash crash, it commenced with a slow and steady decline, and it was back at $0.705 in mid-March and was predicted to fall further.
In February, HSBC predicted a year-end AUD/USD rate of $0.66. In March, Westpac and JP Morgan were slightly more upbeat and argued for $0.68.
Fuelling lower exchange rate forecasts is the Australian economic story, for which major themes include a housing market slump, Chinese growth and the US-China trade spat. The RBA slashed growth forecasts in February and markets are now pricing in 1-2 interest rate cuts this year.
Another Aussie exchange rate worth mentioning is AUD/GBP, which sank in mid-March to its lowest level in nearly 3 years, at just £0.53. The Australian dollar has been unable to compete with the pound of late, since the latter benefits every time the British government fails to make a decision on how to deliver Brexit (every time Brexit appears less likely or to be delayed).
British Pound Market Outlook
The Brexit debacle continues, as does above-average volatility in the British pound. Until now, the UK government’s inability to make any decisions has been to sterling’s advantage, since this casts doubt on the delivery of Brexit and/or makes a softer Brexit more likely.
Sterling’s uptrend is evident from recent peaks against the dollar, coming in at $1.322 on January-25, at $1.335 on February-27, and at $1.338 on March-13. Sterling had been as low as $1.237 in early January. It was at $1.32 at the time of this report.
Increasing the risk of a no-deal Brexit (potentially very bad for sterling) was the statement made on March-20 by EU Council President Donald Tusk, who said that the EU would agree to the Article 50 extension sought by the UK government only if British MPs first backed the current withdrawal agreement—the one that had twice been defeated by large parliamentary majorities.
Pound forecasts are futile given uncertainties over Brexit but estimates can be made for different outcomes. Currency analysts at HSBC said in February that sterling would be valued at levels near $1.10 in the event of no-deal, near $1.45 with a deal and at $1.55 if Brexit is cancelled.
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