What a few weeks we have seen in the UK. From the positivity of a vaccine being rolled out, to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit trade deal negotiations, followed by a new strain of COVID causing border closures and further lockdowns. Those who say that December is usually a quiet month for FX markets, could not have been more wrong this year!
It feels like forever that myself and the team have been talking about a Brexit trade deal and in theory, 1,643 days should really have been enough to get an agreement over the line. Yes it really has been that long. We have had “oven-ready”, “imminent and expected”, “in the tunnel” and “close”. But with 8 days to go (a couple of which in a normal year would be filled with turkey), we still have no sight of an actual deal.
GBP has been bouncing around based on the narrative coming out of both camps in recent weeks, which has seen cable up to two and a half year highs, followed by 3% drops in a matter of days. The Euro has generally been in the ascendency against the USD, leading to highs dating back to the first half of 2018 also, only thwarted this week by concerns in the UK leading investors to seek refuge in the Dollar.
We expected the end of the year to be turbulent as a result of leaving the EU, but even those of us with over a decade’s experience in FX would unlikely have seen coming Q4 movements of 6% on GBP-USD, 4% on GBP-EUR, not to mention more than 7% drops for GBP against some of the commodity currencies.
All of this shows the importance of working closely with our trading team and making sure you get your currency strategy right for 2021 and beyond. Such swings can be protected against, rather than impacting plans for businesses and individuals. Please reach out to the team and we would be more than happy to find the best solution for you.
But enough talk about percentages and currency movements, it is Christmas week after all. Whilst it might be very different for a lot of us this year, we hope that all our clients are able to make the most of Christmas and enjoy the time off. If you need to get in touch over the festive period, our trading hours are below:
· Thu 24th December – Open until 4:30pm
· Fri 25th December – CLOSED (Christmas Day)
· Mon 28th December – CLOSED (Boxing Day)
· Tue 29th to Thu 31st December – Open as usual
· Fri 1st January – CLOSED (New Years Day)
· Mon 4th January – Open as usual
As a team, we want to thank you all for the support, understanding and patience throughout the year. 2020 has been a real challenge for us all, but despite this Aston CM has continued to grow and bring new faces in to strengthen the team into the new year and beyond. We have also taken the opportunity to focus on some exciting new projects and offerings, on top of some more currencies to unveil in the new year. We look forward to helping you all in 2021 and hope to meet many of you face to face again.
From the entire team, please stay safe, enjoy the festive period and we wish you a Happy New Year.