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We hope you enjoyed your Christmas festivities and are looking forward to the New Year.
2021 has certainly been eventful and just about the safest forecast that I can think of is that there is next to no reason why 2022 should be any less so!
Currency market snapshots
The Pound ends 2021:-
GBPEUR - Over 9 cents higher against the Euro than where is started, an increase of 7.5% during the year.
GBPUSD - At a 5-week high but still a cent shy of where it started 2021 and over 5% down on its 2021 high reached in June.
GBPAUD - Nearly 10-cents up from the start of the year, an increase of over 5% in the period but nearly 3% down on the 2021 high reached in August.
GBPCAD - At a 3-month high but still a cent lower than where it started 2021 despite WTI crude oil prices trading at a 4-week high at the moment.
GBPZAR - At a 4-week high and 8% up on the year despite gold prices trading at a 5-week high above $1,800/oz.
Snapshots of 2021 and 2022 forecasts
- The Bank of England (BoE) became the first major central bank to raise interest rates since the start of the pandemic. The consensus forecast is for another 3-rate rises in 2022 to take the UK bank base rate up to around 1.25% by this time next year
- Inflation is at a decade high and expected to top 6% in the first quarter of 2022, 3-times the BoE target.
- Is forecast to be the fastest growing G7 economy in 2022
- The unemployment rate fell from a 2021 high of 5.1% in February to 4.2% in December, despite the end of the furlough scheme in September.
- House prices accelerated at their fastest pace since before the pandemic, up over 10% in 2021.
- Boris has kept England open during the festive season and for tonight's New Year Eve unlike the Scottish and Welsh governments but will there be a new lockdown or at least a tightening of Plan B restrictions in January? Plan C, D or E anyone?
The currency markets, as always will be driven by 3-main factors, economics, politics and sentiment. I think its fair to say that the economic outlook for the UK is looking surprisingly robust given all that has happened in the last 2-years. The problems in 2022 for the Pound may be with the politics and perception (sentiment) of what is forecast for the UK in the next 12-months.
Boris has endured a torrid last few months, some would say largely of his own making. Its worth remembering that the Conservative Party is the most successful political party in the world. Its simply a ruthless election winning machine. How much of the goodwill Boris earnt from his historic 80-seat majority just two years ago has he burnt through with his handling of the pandemic; raising tax thresholds to levels not seen since the 1960's and in the process breaking manifesto promises; the cost of living increases, etc, etc.
Life might be better according to the official statistics but if people don't feel better off then the Pound could very quickly face serious headwinds in 2022 if there is a leadership challenge to Boris; or further lockdowns or a complete break with the EU and that is just what we know about at the moment.
- Inflation is at a 35 year high.
- The Federal Reserve has already started tightening monetary policy by cutting back on its QE (Quantitative Easing) program. That's just a fancy economics term for the printing of money. The financial markets expect between 2-3 interest rate rises in 2022.
In isolation, just these two factors would be more than enough to keep the Dollar on 'the front' foot' for the foreseeable future.
However, much like the Pound the Dollar may face headwinds due to political and sentiment factors rather than from economics.
November 2022 sees the mid-term Congressional elections. If the polls are right and the Republican Party retakes control of Congress, then to use common US political parlance, President Biden will be a 'lame duck' for the rest of his term. Of major concern within the Democratic Party, VP Kamala Harris is the most unpopular vice-President in history.
What price on Donald Trump winning in 2024?
If you agree with the adage of 'follow the money' then you might like to know that the bookies have the Donald down as firm favourite to retake the White House in 2024.
2024 could be quite a year as this is also when the next UK general election is due.
- The ECB are seen by the markets as been well 'behind the curve' set by the BoE and the Fed in tightening monetary policy.
- Germany finishes 2021 without Angela Merkel as Chancellor for the first time in 16 years. For so long the EU's economic powerhouse, there are now serious question marks over the German economic and political outlook.
- Did you know for instance that over 40% of German companies still use fax machines. There is a feeling that the German economy is still geared up for how the world used to be and not how it now is.
- France's next Presidential elections are due in April. Given Macron's unpopularity, could there be an upset, no not with Marine Le Pen but with Eric Zemmour?
- After Poland and Hungary challenged the supremacy of EU law over its own, Romania has joined the argument. Is the political 'pack of cards' beginning to wobble?
All in all, its hard to see where Euro strength is going to come from in 2022 with its economical, political and sentiment outlook all looking decidedly volatile. The saving grace for the Euro might be that in the currency world, everything is relative so if things go downhill in the UK or in the US or both then the Euro may still pick up on Pound and / or Dollar weakness as opposed to Euro strength.
Rest of the World
- Will Russia invade the Ukraine?
- Will China invade Taiwan
- Will Iran reach weapons grade plutonium levels and if so, how will Israel respond?
- North Korea. is it heading for famine and / or nuclear power status?
Before you all reach for your tin helmets, the consensus still seems to be that for now, these events remain possibilities rather than probabilities.
By any measurement, the financial markets have been volatile in 2021 and there is next to no suggestion than 2022 will be less so.
This makes it all the more important to have a plan in place where the markets can be monitored on your behalf for whatever period you need it monitoring for so you can be alerted to opportunities and threats.
Otherwise, you are simply taking 'pot-luck' that you are contacting your broker, the bank or your app at the 'right time'.
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Please call us on 0044 (0)1202 804733 or email us at email@example.com to discuss your individual currency requirement in confidence.
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Happy New Year.
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Cosmos Currency Exchange Ltd is a company registered in England and Wales (Registration number 12414676). Cosmos Currency Exchange services are provided by FCA authorised strategic partners, The Currency Cloud Limited (Registered in England No. 06323311) and Equals Connect Limited (Registration No. 07131446) part of Equals Group PLC (Registration No. 08922461). The Currency Cloud Limited is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under the Electronic Money Regulations 2011 for the issuing of electronic money. FCA registration number: 900199. Equals Connect Limited is authorised by the FCA as an authorised payment institution. FCA registration number 671508.