2019 is looking to be a bumpy year politically and economically – but that shouldn’t mean you put your transfers on hold. With an understanding of what’s coming up, you’ll be aware of the risks to the exchange rates in 2019, and know how to protect against them. Here are the key dates for your diary this year, from Brexit to Fed hikes.
What are the key dates to be aware of?
If you’ve a Smart account, your Personal Trader will already be keeping you updated with these events. They’re likely to have a big impact on the exchange rate between the pound and dollar/euro. Remember that even an event in the eurozone can cause a change in the GBP-USD rate – and vice versa.
We’ve all seen it in the news – the US and China’s increasingly aggressive ‘trade wars’ have been escalating as each side imposes higher tariffs. Trump originally promised in his campaign to fix ‘China’s longtime abuse of the broken international system and unfair practices’. Many tariffs also apply to the rest of the world, including the steel tariff – only South Korea, Argentina, Australia and Brazil have exemptions. The EU has therefore also been drawn in, imposing retaliatory tariffs on around $3 billion worth of products.
Key dates: 1st March
We couldn’t go far without mentioning Brexit – the clock’s ticking down on the 29th March deadline, and there’s still no sign of an agreement in place. Some claim Theresa May is attempting to run the clock down to a decision between her existing Withdrawal Agreement and a no-deal. A no deal looks more and more likely, but, really, absolutely no-one can predict what will happen. We could see the pound drop tremendously, so it’s important to be prepared.
Key dates: 29th March
There are a number of important elections coming up this year, including EU elections, which many fear could see more extreme parties entering the Parliament. UK local elections are in May, and it will be interesting to see what seats are won, lost or hold – the public seems more divided into ‘Remain’ and ‘Leave’ than by political party as well. There are also a number of key general elections within the EU, including in Spain in April, which has seen a greater rise of the Right in some Autonomous Communities, like Andalusia.
Key dates: 28th April, 2nd May, 23-26th May
Both the Bank of England (BoE) and the European Central Bank (ECB) will see their heads set down. Governor of the BoE, Mark Carney is expected to step down in July. Philip Hammond will have the job of finding someone who can continue work to maintain the UK’s international standing. Mario Draghi will also step down as President of the ECB, and it looks highly likely that he will remarkably not have raised interest rates at all during his tenure. Will the new President take a different approach? It remains to be seen.
Key dates: July, October
Interest rate decisions
Speaking of interest rates, the US’s Federal Reserve will be announcing a rate decision in December. It has hiked rates four times over the last year, but, with America’s economic performance slowing a little, there is talk even of a drop in rates. We’ve previously explained the effect interest rates can have on the exchange rates in 2019 – make sure to have a read if you’re unclear.
It’s important to remember, however, that these are only the key dates. The exchange rates in 2019, as any year, will be pulled and pushed every which way by any number of factors – and, as always, could be severely impacted by unpredictable announcements, economic drops, even just a single Tweet.
That said, you don’t need to leave things to chance. Speak to your Personal Trader on 020 7898 0541 to find out how to secure a fixed exchange rate for a year with a forward contract. And, don’t hesitate to refer those of your friends and family who would benefit from our award-winning service (and earn yourself an unlimited number of Smart vouchers by doing so).