Annual Currency Exchange Rate Summaries

2018’s Currency Summary

2018 provided the continuation of much political noise. Brexit dominating the headlines with a fanfare surrounding the UK’s withdrawal agreement from the EU and much to be said about the Trump administration and a pending trade war with China. Despite all of this noise though it did remain very much that as the JP Morgan Global FX Volatility Index was on track to fall to its lowest levels for five years at the start of 2019.

View the current currency exchange rates here.

Currency Rate Comparison 2017/2018

EUR/USD:

  • 2018 High: 1.2480
  • 2018 Low: 1.1257
  • 2018 Average: 1.1809
  • 2017 High: 1.2045
  • 2017 Low: 1.0430
  • 2017 Average: 1.1299

GBP/USD:

  • 2018 High: 1.4320
  • 2018 Low: 1.2560
  • 2018 Average: 1.3348
  • 2017 High: 1.3592
  • 2017 Low: 1.2049
  • 2017 Average: 1.2885

EUR/GBP:

  • 2018 High: 0.9075
  • 2018 Low: 0.8639
  • 2018 Average: 0.8846
  • 2017 High: 0.9274
  • 2017 Low: 0.8360
  • 2017 Average: 0.8764

USD/CAD:

  • 2018 High: 1.3634
  • 2018 Low: 1.2297
  • 2018 Average: 1.2960
  • 2017 High: 1.3744
  • 2017 Low: 1.2116
  • 2017 Average: 1.2978

EUR/JPY:

  • 2018 High: 137.19
  • 2018 Low: 125.76
  • 2018 Average: 130.32
  • 2017 High: 134.96
  • 2017 Low: 115.23
  • 2017 Average: 126.69

EUR/CHF:

  • 2018 High: 1.1986
  • 2018 Low: 1.1190
  • 2018 Average: 1.1546
  • 2017 High: 1.1745
  • 2017 Low: 1.0637
  • 2017 Average: 1.1116

USD/CHF:

  • 2018 High: 1.0094
  • 2018 Low: 0.9233
  • 2018 Average: 0.9782
  • 2017 High: 1.0258
  • 2017 Low: 0.9438
  • 2017 Average: 0.9843

AUD/CAD:

  • 2018 High: 1.0201
  • 2018 Low: 0.9116
  • 2018 Average: 0.9679
  • 2017 High: 1.0303
  • 2017 Low: 0.9639
  • 2017 Average: 0.9943

NZD/USD:

  • 2018 High: 0.7402
  • 2018 Low: 0.6430
  • 2018 Average: 0.6920
  • 2017 High: 0.7515
  • 2017 Low: 0.6788
  • 2017 Average: 0.7106

GBP/CHF:

  • 2018 High: 1.3792
  • 2018 Low: 1.2437
  • 2018 Average: 1.3050
  • 2017 High: 1.3368
  • 2017 Low: 1.2180
  • 2017 Average: 1.2680

Bitcoin/USD:

  • 2018 High: 16700.28
  • 2018 Low: 3213.93
  • 2018 Average: 7475.15
  • 2017 High: 18752.99
  • 2017 Low: 783.42
  • 2017 Average: 3959.45

Note: Not used for money transfers besides several bitcoin remittance startups.

Overview / Analysis for 2018’s Exchange rates

2018 will be regarded as a year of continued concern about the state of the global economy. Monetary policy has been consistent from policy makers across the globe with many countries choosing to maintain some of their lowest ever interest rates in a bid to keep their economies in a state of growth. The end result meaning no major shifts in currencies across the year.

Throughout 2018 the ECB held their refinancing rate at zero, where it’s been for three years. Marginal lending was held at 0.25 percent, whilst the ECB’s negative deposit rate remained at -0.4 percent in a bid to encourage spending and prevent businesses from sitting on their cash reserves. The ECB’s TLRO program also continued (Targeted Long-Term Refinancing Operation) as they loaned banks over 700billion Euros at ultra-low rates to encourage further lending to business. The ECB did though bring an end to their 2.5trillion Euro bond buying (Quantitative Easing) program in December 2018. This was regarded by many as their first step to unwinding the emergency measures which were put in place to stabilize the eurozone during the financial crisis. But with Mario Draghi continuing to comment on the wider global risks and monetary policy unlikely to change until at least summer 2020 it seems unlikely we’ll see any further progression in reverting these other emergency measures put in place.

Economic growth fell significantly in the eurozone since the end of 2017. Quarter-on-quarter GDP growth for Q4 2018 fell 0.2% vs Q3 2018, and was 0.7% down from Q4 2017. It remains to be seen whether this is due to underlying problems in the eurozone economy or strains from the external wider global problems and of course concerns of the impact from the UK leaving the EU.

With the weight of brexit impacting both the Eurozone and the UK EUR/GBP remained at a near constant throughout 2018 fluctuating between 0.87 and 0.89. EUR/USD saw a gradual decline, starting the year at 1.2, and finishing the year at 1.14.

Much like the eurozone the UK economy saw a poor end to 2018. The UK’s cumulative growth for the first three quarters came in at 1.1% whilst Q4 saw a growth of just 0.2% bringing the total year to 1.3%. And whilst the quarterly statistics were unnervingly weak, monthly data for December was worse, with growth actually shrinking 0.4%. The UK did see an interest rate rise in August 2018 from 0.5% to 0.75% but analysts were left unsure if this was the right move with the future of brexit still very much uncertain. Even despite the interest rate rise, the pound actually fell against the dollar moving around 1% as brexit continued to dominate the news and Mark Carney spelling out just how bad a no deal brexit could be for the UK economy. The continued strain on the pound was however good news for UK exports as goods remained comparatively cheap compared to previous levels for UK goods and services. One other measure of the UK economy also performed well – the historic low unemployment rate of 3.8% was achieved in 2018. Although many put this down to the rise of 0-hour contracts and with inflation now creeping above the 2% target set by the Bank of England it also means real income is falling.

Like EUR, GBP also saw a fall against USD across the year from 1.35 to 1.27.

But even the US missed its 3% growth target despite 1.5trillion USD tax cuts and an increase in government spending. Although growing at 2.6% it’s the best US growth since 2015. Like the UK and Eurozone it was a slower Q4 which caused the economy to miss its projections and downsize its expectations for growth in 2019. With similar rhetoric coming from the US as the Eurozone it’s likely we will not see many moves in interest rates here either. USD remained strong throughout 2018 and combined with further concerns over the US-China dispute the US’ trade deficit widened in 2018 as they saw a reduction in exports. As global uncertainty continues, it’s likely we’ll continue to see investment into the dollar and a strong USD for many months and years to come.

Elsewhere AUD lost ground against virtually all of the major currencies through 2018. And at the close of December was at its lowest for 10 years against USD. Ironically the primary concern being the USD-China trade war and Australia’s heavy reliance on the China economy, one of its largest trading partners.

2018 Currency Rate Summary

EURUSDEUR/JPYEUR/GBPEUR/CHFGBP/USDUSD/CAD
2018 high1.2480137.190.90751.19861.43201.3634
2018 low1.1257125.760.86391.11901.25611.2297
2018 average1.1809130.320.88461.15461.33481.2960
USD/CHFAUD/CADNZD/USDGBP/CHFBTC/USD
2018 high1.00941.02010.74021.379216700.30
2018 low0.92330.91170.64301.24373213.93
2018 average0.97820.96790.69211.30517475.15

PAST YEARS 2014-2016

Comparison Currency Rates 2016

USD/CAD:

  • 2016 High: 1.4691
  • 2016 Low: 1.2458
  • 2016 Average: 1.3254
  • 2015 High: 1.4001
  • 2015 Low: 1.1596
  • 2015 Average: 1.2790

EUR/JPY:

  • 2016 High: 132.30
  • 2016 Low: 109.47
  • 2016 Average: 120.32
  • 2015 High: 145.37
  • 2015 Low: 126.05
  • 2015 Average: 134.37

EUR/USD:

  • 2016 High: 1.1617
  • 2016 Low: 1.0350
  • 2016 Average: 1.1064
  • 2015 High: 1.2110
  • 2015 Low: 1.0456
  • 2015 Average: 1.1103

EUR/CHP:

  • 2016 High: 1.1211
  • 2016 Low: 1.0610
  • 2016 Average: 1.0898
  • 2015 High: 1.2047
  • 2015 Low: 0.8696
  • 2015 Average: 1.0685

USD/CHF:

  • 2016 High: 1.0350
  • 2016 Low: 0.9440
  • 2016 Average: 0.9851
  • 2015 High: 1.0335
  • 2015 Low: 0.7360
  • 2015 Average: 0.9628

EUR/GBP:

  • 2016 High: 0.9431
  • 2016 Low: 0.7310
  • 2016 Average: 0.8188
  • 2015 High: 0.7875
  • 2015 Low: 0.6934
  • 2015 Average: 0.7264

GBP/USD:

  • 2016 High: 1.5023
  • 2016 Low: 1.1450
  • 2016 Average: 1.3457
  • 2015 High: 1.5930
  • 2015 Low: 1.4563
  • 2015 Average: 1.5285

AUD/CAD:

  • 2016 High: 1.0402
  • 2016 Low: 0.9320
  • 2016 Average: 0.9851
  • 2015 High: 1.0176
  • 2015 Low: 0.9143
  • 2015 Average: 0.9605

NZD/USD:

  • 2016 High: 0.7490
  • 2016 Low: 0.6346
  • 2016 Average: 0.6962
  • 2015 High: 0.7892
  • 2015 Low: 0.6233
  • 2015 Average: 0.7002

GBP/CHF:

  • 2016 High: 1.4848
  • 2016 Low: 1.1585
  • 2016 Average: 1.3330
  • 2015 High: 1.5586
  • 2015 Low: 1.1320
  • 2015 Average: 1.4713

Bitcoin/USD:

  1. 2016 High: 985.33
  2. 2016 Low: 352.11
  3. 2016 Average: 591.45
  4. Overview / Analysis

Analysis and overview for 2016’s Exchange rates

Simple calendar for 2017 and 2017At the beginning of 2016, the Federal Reserve expected to raise interest rates four times in the course of the year, but their plans were continually frustrated by domestic and international factors and there was only one rate hike during the course of the year. For much of the year, the dollar also failed to meet expectations of gains before a late and dramatic twist.

The Fed’s inability to raise interest rates undermined dollar support during the first six months of 2016 as the trade-weighted index declined to lows just below 92.50 in early May from 98.65 at the beginning of the year.

The US economy was trapped in a low-growth environment while the Euro was broadly resilient even with the ECB increasing its bond-buying programme to EUR80bn per month from EUR60bn at the March meeting and cutting the deposit rate to a fresh record low of -0.40%.

Markets inevitably focussed much of their attention on economic trends and central bank policies, although it was political events and shock outcomes that had the biggest impact and caused major market turbulence with two huge set-piece events.

On June 23rd the UK held a referendum on whether to remain in the EU. Uncertainty ahead of the event had an important impact and was partially responsible for cancelling the Fed’s planned June interest rate increase, although a dismal employment report was the dominant reason for a postponement.

The UK voted to leave the EU, contrary to all the opinion polls and expert opinion leading into the event. The shock decision put severe downward pressure on Sterling and also helped fuel global populist sentiment.

In response, the Bank of England cut interest rates in August and Sterling remained under pressure throughout the second half of 2016. The UK currency hit the lowest level for over 30 years against the dollar with a slide to lows below 1.20 and also lost ground heavily on a trade-weighted basis.

The second major shock occurred in the November US presidential election with the vast majority of opinion polls suggesting that Democrat contender Clinton would secure victory. Clinton did win the popular vote, but Republican rival Trump won the Electoral College with victory in key battleground states such as Florida.

The dollar initially declined sharply, but markets staged a dramatic reversal within hours and the US currency surged higher against major currencies over the following few weeks.

There were expectations that the a Trump Administration would cut taxes aggressively, potentially raising the US growth rate and put upward pressure on inflation which, in turn, would accelerate the pace of Federal Reserve tightening and increase US yield support.

After being locked in a global deflation mind set for much of 2016, market sentiment swung sharply towards expecting higher inflation. US bond yields rose sharply and the shift in yield spreads in the dollar’s favour was a key factor boosting the dollar as support for the yen and Euro evaporated. USD/JPY rose from a test of support near 100.00 to a peak above 118.50. EUR/USD dipped to lows at 1.0350 which reignited market talk of parity.

2016 Summary

EURUSDEUR/JPYEUR/GBPEUR/CHFGBP/USDUSD/CAD
2016 high1.1617132.300.94311.12111.50231.4691
2016 low1.0350109.470.73101.06101.14501.2458
2016 average1.1064120.320.81881.08981.34571.3254
USD/CHFAUD/CADNZDUSDGBP/CHFBITCOIN
2016 high1.03501.04020.74901.4848985.33
2016 low0.94400.93200.63461.1585352.11
2016 average0.98510.98510.69621.3330591.45

Currency Statistics 2014

The highs and lows of the most popular currency pairs in 2015 which will be remember as volatile, especially for the Euro. A year of financial uncertainty which could signify an upcoming crisis, or yet another hiccup in the long history of economy.

USD/CAD:

  1. 2015 High: 1.4001
  2. 2015 Low: 1.1596
  3. 2015 Average: 1.2790
  4. 2014 High: 1.1676
  5. 2014 Low: 1.0585
  6. 2014 Average: 1.1046

EUR/JPY:

  1. 2015 High: 145.37
  2. 2015 Low: 126.05
  3. 2015 Average: 134.37
  4. 2014 High: 149.76
  5. 2014 Low: 134.09
  6. 2014 Average: 140.44

EUR/USD:

  1. 2015 High: 1.2110
  2. 2015 Low: 1.0456
  3. 2015 Average: 1.1103
  4. 2014 High: 1.3992
  5. 2014 Low: 1.2095
  6. 2014 Average: 1.3286

EUR/CHP:

  1. 2015 High: 1.2047
  2. 2015 Low: 0.8696
  3. 2015 Average: 1.0685
  4. 2014 High: 1.2403
  5. 2014 Low: 1.1974
  6. 2014 Average: 1.2146

USD/CHP:

  1. 2015 High: 1.0335
  2. 2015 Low: 0.7360
  3. 2015 Average: 0.9628
  4. 2014 High: 0.9949
  5. 2014 Low: 0.8696
  6. 2014 Average: 0.9155

EUR/GBP:

  1. 2015 High: 0.7875
  2. 2015 Low: 0.6934
  3. 2015 Average: 0.7264
  4. 2014 High: 0.8401
  5. 2014 Low: 0.7757
  6. 2014 Average: 0.8062

GBP/USD:

  1. 2015 High: 1.5930
  2. 2015 Low: 1.4563
  3. 2015 Average: 1.5285
  4. 2014 High: 1.7191
  5. 2014 Low: 1.5484
  6. 2014 Average: 1.6476

AUD/CAD:

  1. 2015 High: 1.0176
  2. 2015 Low: 0.9143
  3. 2015 Average: 0.9605
  4. 2014 High: 1.0348
  5. 2014 Low: 0.9387
  6. 2014 Average: 0.9960

NZD/USD:

  1. 2015 High: 0.7892
  2. 2015 Low: 0.6233
  3. 2015 Average: 0.7002
  4. 2014 High: 0.8835
  5. 2014 Low: 0.7606
  6. 2014 Average: 0.8306

GBP/CHF:

  1. 2015 High: 1.5586
  2. 2015 Low: 1.1320
  3. 2015 Average: 1.4713
  4. 2014 High: 1.5539
  5. 2014 Low: 1.4456
  6. 2014 Average: 1.5072

Bitcoin/USD:

  1. 2015 High: 463
  2. 2015 Low: 177.28
  3. 2015 Average: 274

Note: Not used for money transfer besides several bitcoin remittance startups.

Analysis and overview for 2014’s Exchange rates

The main observation to be gathered from the global financial currency statistics is that the Euro is plummeting from the prior year in 2014. Aside from looking at the numbers, it is important to look at what underlying factors are influencing those numbers in order to assess why the Euro is facing the dilemmas that it is facing today.

One of the main factors that is causing the Euro to lose strength is the volatile situation in Greece, with unemployment rates of more than 24% over 2015. Greece is a pivotal example of the Euro’s downfall because it exemplifies how the Euro is affected by one nation within the European Union that is plummeting. What happens as a result is that the other nations are forced to pull their weight and that overall negatively impacts the Euro’s strength.

Even though Greece is a culprit to the Euro’s demise, it is not the sole force to blame. The immigration from middle east wars which leads to unease and uncertainty among Europeans is definitely a contributing factor, as well as the situation in countries like Spain and Cyprus, both with over 15% in unemployment and no salvation in the foreseeable future.

You can also blame The Euro and the global landscape as a whole suffers from banks making fiscal decisions that do not always practice the best implementation of financial policy. An example of this can be seen with the European Central Bank’s initiative to pump more Euros into the economy, which will cause devaluation due to the plethora of excess of supply in Euros.

The European Central Bank, however, is not the sole source to blame in this scenario. For example, The Federal Reserve Bank in the United States is guilty of boosting the potential of the United States Dollar, which negatively impacts the Euro’s strength. The Federal Reserve Bank has attempted to raise interest rates, which has proven successful in boosting the United States Dollar and negatively impacting the Euro.

These financial factors aside, it is no surprise that the Euro has seen a substantial weakness in the span of 2014 – 2015 given that the European Union overall has faced many economic, political, and social challenges that continue to have a great impact on the economic success of their corresponding economy, which ultimately contains the Euro.

At the early 2016, amid turbulence in the markets and commodity prices hitting 10 year lows, the GBP has seem to decline. This was caused by strengthening of the Dollar, as well as low manufacturing numbers, and most importantly in fear of a referendum about leaving the European Union.

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