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Euro Rates Today: EUR Reaches 3-Month High Against GBP

Market CommentaryEuro Rates Today: EUR Reaches 3-Month High Against GBP
Euro Rates Today: EUR Reaches 3-Month High Against GBP
Euro Rates Today.

Are you a Brit planning to sell your property in Spain or France, or a Eurozone citizen thinking of emigrating to the UK? Alternatively, are you a European business owner making international payments to the UK, for your imports and exports?

If so, the euro rates today might be of interest to you, to help you decide when to transfer money to the UK.

In particular, the euro to pound interbank exchange rate has reached 0.8728 today. This is its highest in 3 months, or since February 17th.

By comparison, back on May 4th, the Eurozone's common currency was as weak as 0.8493. So it's since strengthened by +2.5 cents, or +2.76%.

To contextualise this rise in the EUR versus the GBP for you, at today's interbank exchange rate of 0.8728, €250,000 would be worth £218,200.

By contrast, at the interbank exchange rate on May 4th of 0.8493, €250,000 would have been worth just £212,325.

So for the same euro amount, that's an increase in pounds of +£5,875.

As a result of this rise in the value of the euro versus the pound, when you transfer money from the Eurozone to your UK bank account, you might now get a notably higher pound total, compared to if you'd transferred money in the recent past.

In turn, this may benefit you, when you sell your Spanish or French property home, or to do international trade with the UK.

A first factor why the EUR to GBP has hit this 3-month high is because, in the UK, Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that she'll hold a fourth Brexit vote, which it's thought will fail.

In addition, a second factor is because Germany's economy accelerated in early 2019. Also, a third factor is because the USA has announced that it will delay imposing tariffs on EU vehicle exports to America.

Let's look more closely at these reasons why the euro has risen in value against sterling. You may find this useful, to help you decide when to transfer money abroad to the UK in 2019.

Prime Minister May to Hold 4th Brexit Vote, Likely to Be Voted Down

A first partial explanation why the euro to pound interbank exchange rate has reached this 3-month high is because Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that she'll hold a fourth vote in the House of Commons over her draft Brexit deal.

It's thought that MPs will vote down Mrs. May's draft agreement, like in her other three attempts.

Yesterday, Downing Street announced that it intended to put the draft Brexit deal before Parliament for a fourth time, in the week starting June 3rd.

The Prime Minister will do so, both following pressure from the 1922 Committee of Conservative backbench MPs, and to try and resolve Brexit before Parliament breaks for the Summer holidays.

Following the Prime Minister's announcement, two senior government ministers announced that MPs must pass the draft deal. Otherwise, either Brexit would be cancelled, or there'll be a "No Deal" Brexit.

In particular, trade minister Liam Fox and Brexit minister Stephen Barclay put this ultimatum before MPs yesterday, to increase pressure on them to pass the draft.

However, even following this ultimatum, Mrs. May's draft agreement looks set to be voted down again.

For example, both the European Research Group (ERG) of pro-Brexit Tory MPs, and Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) have announced that they'll vote against the draft. This is because it would keep the UK in a customs arrangement with the EU.

In addition, the opposition Labour Party have also revealed that they'll vote down the draft. This is because the Conservatives and Labour have been negotiating to reach a cross-party deal for over six weeks, so far without success.

If Theresa May's deal is voted down again, it looks likely that the pressure on her to resign will grow even greater.

If so, financial markets are concerned that the Conservatives will elect a strongly pro-Brexit leader and new Prime Minister, who'll finish Brexit, regardless of the potential economic cost to the UK.

With this in mind, following Mrs. May's announcement, the euro has risen versus the pound. This is because, far from resolving Brexit, the Prime Minister's vote could force her to resign.

This would increase the uncertainty over the UK's exit from the EU, and so may slow the UK's GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth in future.

Germany's Economy Bounces Back in Early 2019

In addition, a further factor why the euro to pound interbank exchange rate has hit this 3-month high is because Germany's economy has bounced back in early 2019.

According to Germany's official statistics agency Statistisches Bundesamt Deutschland on Wednesday, German GDP expanded by +0.4% between January and March, well above the previous quarter's 0.0%.

This has eased fears of a prolonged economic slowdown in the Eurozone's largest member state.

In particular, Oliver Rakau, an economist at Oxford Economics, told the Financial Times newspaper that this "should put to bed any lingering fears of an imminent recession".

Meanwhile, Germany's Economy Minister, Peter Altmaier, said that "the growth in the first quarter of this year is a first sign of light."

German's economic growth accelerated in the first three months of 2019, buoyed by domestic demand.

In particular, there was strong construction activity between January and March, while machinery investment and private consumption also rose. Meanwhile, looking ahead, tax cuts and social benefit increases may further support growth.

German's Economics Minister said about this data that: "Consumers showed a strong propensity to consume at the start of the year".

At the same time, companies strongly raised their investments "despite their subdued business prospects". These subdued prospects relate to the USA and China's ongoing trade war, which is affecting exports from Germany.

These upbeat German economic growth figures have lifted the euro, first because they suggest that Germany has rebounded from its weak performance in the second half of 2018, when Germany almost entered recession.

In addition, these strong German GDP figures will also lift growth in the wider Eurozone, where Germany is by far the largest economy.

US Announces Delay to Automobile Tariffs on EU

Also, a further reason why the EUR has hit this 3-month high versus the GBP is because the USA has announced that it will delay its planned tariffs on EU vehicle exports to America.

To be specific, yesterday the United States said that it has pushed back its planned tariffs from the deadline of May 18th, this Saturday, by six months.

According to observers, the USA has made this decision, to allow Washington to focus on its trade conflict with Beijing, rather than fighting with Brussels at the same time.

For example, a former US trade official told the Financial Times that "You can’t fight multiple trade battles at the same time. You have to pick who your biggest enemy is."

Following the USA's announcement, European car manufacturers may breathe a sigh of relief.

This is because Washington's decision allows them to continue exporting automobiles to the USA, without tariffs for now. As a result, EU cars will remain cheaper for American consumers, compared to if the tariffs had gone into effect this week.

However, it's worth noting that Washington's announcement is a delay over the tariffs, not a decision to cancel them. As a result, the USA could still make it more expensive to buy EU vehicles in America, later in 2019.

With this in mind, the United States' announcement has lifted the value of the euro versus the pound today, though perhaps only for the short term.

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Please bear in mind, this article is Pure FX’s opinion only and does not constitute advice. Moreover, the exchange rates referred to in this article are the interbank rates, which are the rates at which banks and financial institutions buy and sell currency to each other. Therefore these exchange rates cannot be accessed by individuals or SMEs, and are not the same rates that Pure FX can offer. To get a free exchange rate quote, call us on +44 (0) 1494 671800, or email peter.lavelle@purefx.co.uk.

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