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    02 December 2015

    The year of 2015 has been extremely volatile for the sterling - euro currency pair exchange rates. At the start of the year, in January, one Pound was worth just over 1.27 Euros - 14 cents lower than now as we head into the last month of the year.

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Euro rates through 2015
02 December 2015

The year of 2015 has been extremely volatile for the GBP/EUR currency pair. At the start of the year, in January, one Pound was worth just over 1.27 Euros – jump 11 months forward and the Pound has gained over 14 cents on the Euro. Sterling’s improvement against the Euro began on January 15th when the markets were left in shock as the Swiss National Bank announced that it would no longer hold a fixed exchange rate against the Euro. The fixed rate had been brought in when the financial markets were in turmoil in 2011. When this announcement was made the Pound rallied to seven year highs.

The Swiss action was not the only major announcement in January, as the European Central Bank revealed a new quantitative easing programme designed to improve liquidity for European banks. This move weakened the Euro further, but the biggest shock came when the far left anti-austerity Syriza party won a landslide victory in Greece, with Alexis Tsipras coming in to power. This surprise result brought hope to the people of Greece, but once again this was not good news for the Euro, as the rate continued to deteriorate against Sterling, due to uncertainty over the Greeks' continued European membership. On July 13th the €86 billion Greek bailout deal was agreed, which led the Pound to further gains against the Euro to the highest levels of the year at just over 1.44. With much of the uncertainty over Greece now dealt with, rates went back in the Euro’s favour for a period of a couple of months and this was further exacerbated by news from the Bank of England that interest rate rises were unlikely until 2017.

In the latter part of the year Sterling managed to gain ground on the Euro once again, with help from the US, as the FED started hinting at increasing interest rates. Although this could be seen as negative for the Pound, anything positive from the US generally weakens the Euro, which allowed Sterling to rally against the Euro. Although it has not yet been confirmed that interest rates are set to rise in the US it is believed that come the turn of the year that will be the case, keeping the GBP/EUR rate above 1.40.

2015 has seen great exchange rate movements for anyone making payments to the Eurozone and while rates seem stable at the moment, who knows what will happen in 2016.

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