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USD vs GBP Rate Hits 1-Week High, as UK Construction Shrinks

Market CommentaryUSD vs GBP Rate Hits 1-Week High, as UK Construction Shrinks
USD vs GBP Rate Hits 1-Week High, as UK Construction Shrinks
US Dollar to Pound Exchange Rate. Image credit: 3dman_eu.

Welcome to Pure FX's latest update of the US dollar to pound interbank exchange rate!

The greenback rises versus sterling! The US dollar to pound interbank exchange rate has hit 0.7603 today, its strongest in 1 week, or since February 26th.

By contrast, back on February 27th, the mighty buck was as low as 0.7496 against sterling, so it's since climbed by +1.42%, or +1.5 cents.

To put this into context for you, US$250,000 at today's interbank exchange rate would be worth £250,000, or +£2,765 more than on February 27th!

So this could benefit you to transfer money to the UK, if you're a US business owner intent on importing UK goods to the United States in 2019.

US Dollar to Pound Rate Rises, as UK Construction Sector Contracts

The US dollar to pound interbank exchange rate has hit this 1-week high, first because the UK's construction sector shrank in February, it was revealed yesterday.

According to economics watchdog IHS Markit, UK construction fell to 49.5 last month, below the 50.0 figure that signals growth, as well as January's result of 50.6.

This was UK construction's first contraction in 11 months, and was driven by Brexit uncertainty.

"Brexit anxiety intensified and clients opted to delay decision-making on building projects," says IHS Markit Economics Associate Director Tim Moore, thus hurting GBP!

USD vs GBP Rate Strengthens, as UK Retail Sales Fall

What's more, the greenback has also touched this 1-week high versus sterling, because UK retail sales unexpectedly fell in February, said trusted statistics today.

Retail sales in the United Kingdom dropped by -0.1% last month compared to a year ago, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), beneath predictions for a +0.1% rise.

To be specific, Britons spent less on clothing, department store spending and hotels in February. This is because Brexit uncertainty is encouraging people to keep their wallets in their pockets for now.

As a result, the US dollar has gained versus the pound!

Greenback Jumps Versus Sterling, as US Interest Rates Higher

Moreover, the US dollar to pound interbank exchange rate has also flown higher, because US interest rates remain higher than the rest of the developed world.

Last Saturday, US president Donald Trump tried to 'talk down' the US dollar, by saying that he wants "a dollar that's [not] prohibitive for us to be doing business with other countries."

The US dollar gained though, in spite of Mr. Trump's remarks, as US interest rates currently stand at 2.25-2.5%. This is higher than in the UK, Eurozone or Japan.

This makes investing in the USA more profitable, thus lifting demand for the USD, and raising its value!

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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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