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The pound to euro exchange rate has been hit with turbulence in recent weeks with the onslaught of the coronavirus lockdown measures and continuing disputes between the UK and EU over Brexit trade deals. With the pandemic raging on, and Brexit negotiations ramping up as the transition period end draws ever closer, holidaymakers may be concerned about how to determine the best time to change their travel money.
Though last week sterling saw a series of triumphant gains against the common currency, this week it was served a detrimental blow as ministers resumed talks in Brussels.
Despite this, one expert says that the GBP has maintained “strong month- and quarter-end demand”.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Michael Brown currency expert at Caxton FX explained: “Sterling experienced some strong month- and quarter-end demand yesterday, pushing the pound higher against the common currency, with the market continuing to pay close attention to the prospects for a breakthrough in the ninth, and final, round of post-Brexit trade talks.
“Those talks will be the primary centre of attention today, with the market unlikely to be overly bothered by this morning’s manufacturing PMI data.
“That said, now that the supportive demand has ended, it will be interesting to see whether the pound can continue to hold its own.”
The pound is current trading at a rate of 1.1020 against the euro according to Bloomberg at the time of writing.
Though Brexit has played a huge part in trader’s decisions this week, the UK’s economic struggled in the midst of the pandemic continue to taunt the pound.
“Bank of England (BOE) policymakers have provided mixed messages about negative interest rates in the UK over the past few weeks.
“Investors have been on their toes and the pound has been sensitive,” explained George Vessey, UK currency strategist at Western Union Business Solutions.
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“Yesterday, BOE governor Andrew Bailey confirmed the bank had not ruled out taking rates below zero for the first time, which sent sterling lower on the day.”
He added: “It is an important week for Brexit and if progress is made in fishing rights or state-aid then sterling is expected to jump. GBP/EUR is about 2.5 percent weaker.”
Britons who have travel plans ahead might be uncertain about how to get the best rates.
Though predicting exchange rate changes is near-impossible, one thing holidaymakers can do is prepare well in advance.
One crucial piece of advice from experts is not to leave exchanging cash until the last minute.
Ian Strafford-Taylor, CEO of FairFX, commented: “It’s no secret that airport exchange rates don’t offer the best value for holidaymakers as they end up paying a hefty price for ‘convenience’.
“However, we’re seeing rates offered by airport providers reach shocking new lows with one of the highest margins we have seen since we began investigating the matter.
“Travel money can often be left until the last minute and falls off the priority holiday checklist, but as we’ve found time and time again in our research, leaving it until you get to the airport could end up costing you.
Planning in advance whenever possible will pay substantially.
“You can set up alerts to buy your holiday money when rates are in your favour, or lock-in exchange rates by using a prepaid currency card.”
One big-name travel provider which offers its own travel money cards is the Post Office Travel Money.
The Post Office is currently offering a rate of €1.0540 for amounts of £400 or more or 1.0748 for amounts of €£1,000 or more.
“Whatever you do, don’t leave it until the last minute,” warned Mr Strafford-Taylor.
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