Exchange Rate Monitor% change Currency £500+ rate Annually Quarterly Chinese yuan 9.0334 -8.3% +7.5% Qatar riyal 5.3789 -8.3% +7.7% Barbados dollar 2.8920 -8.3% +7.7% UAE dirham 5.5078 -8.3% +7.7% East Caribbean dollar 3.8945 -8.3% +7.7% Omani rial 0.5670 -8.3% +7.7% Hong Kong dollar 11.4426 -8.2% +7.7% US dollar 1.5240 -7.9% +8.1% Trinidad & Tobago dollar 9.2708 -7.7% +8.5% Jamaican dollar 168.2318 -6.1% +8.4% % change Currency £500+ rate Annually Quarterly Russian ruble 80.7641 +48.9% +11.9% Brazilian real 4.4265 +28.1% +8.6% New Zealand dollar 2.2205 +18.8% +18.0% Norwegian krone 11.8145 +17.0% +4.5% Turkish lira 3.8051 +15.6% +9.0% Hungarian forint 413.6787 +14.0% +8.8% Euro 1.3690 +12.6% +2.9% Danish kroner 9.9917 +12.2% +2.3% Swedish kronor 12.4192 +12.2% +1.2% Bulgarian lev 2.5970 +12.2% +2.6%
Post Office Travel Money’s latest Holiday Money Index reveals continuing polarisation between sterling rate movements against European currencies and those which ‘float’ with the US dollar. Sterling has gained further ground since earlier in the year, achieving a double digit percentage year-on-year rise in value against the majority of European currencies. It has also increased significantly in value since April against many longer haul currencies, most notably the New Zealand dollar. Although the pound has recovered from its March low point against the US dollar, the greater strength of the American currency a year ago means transatlantic travellers can now expect to get around eight per cent less for their pounds and this extends to Caribbean and Middle Eastern currencies too.Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said:“After a dip in May, sterling has moved steadily up in value over the past month. Its strength against the ailing euro has overshadowed the fact that every other European currency, except the Swiss franc, has weakened since our April report. As schools prepare to break up, it is good to report a turnaround in the pound’s fortunes against the Turkish lira. Families travelling to one of Europe’s best value destinations will have 19 per cent more cash to spend now than if they had changed pounds into lira in January.”
Holiday Currency Facts:
Sterling remains stronger than a year ago against three-quarters of the Post Office 20 bestselling currencies – and is at an eight-year high against the euro. As the summer holidays approach, the pound buys 12.6% more euro than a year ago – the equivalent of around £56 extra on a £500 currency purchase
The biggest change has been in value of the Turkish lira, which has dropped 9% against sterling since April and 19% since January. The Swiss franc is now the only European currency stronger year-on-year against sterling
The pound has strengthened against every major currency over the past quarter, including the US dollar. Sterling has risen in value against the dollar by 8.1% since April, but remains 7.9% weaker than last July. Despite this, Post Office sales of the US currency are still well ahead of 2014 half year levels
17 of the 20 bestselling currencies have seen healthy year-on-year sales rises in the first half of 2015 - with
gains of 20 per cent or more for the New Zealand dollar, Hungarian forint, Japanese yen and Australian dollar.
The Costa Rican colon tops the list of 20 Fastest Growing Currencies with a 58 per cent year-on-year boost to its sales and is one of 13 long haul destinations to dominate the growth chart. Low prices on the ground and the boost of new flights from the UK help to account for Costa Rica’s growing popularity – and perhaps the positive image created by its 2014 World Cup bid as well. Several top 20 currencies – notably the Russian ruble, Japanese yen, New Zealand dollar and Hungarian forint – have reaped the benefit of their weakness against the pound.
Despite a weakening in the pound’s value, currencies for fast growing destinations like Vietnam and the Dominican Republic have built on last year’s strong growth with double-digit percentage sales increases. The euro continues to feature in the Fastest Growing Currencies chart with a significant 10 per cent rise in sales – which should be viewed in the context of it being by far the best selling currency for the UK’s biggest foreign exchange providers.
Andrew Brown said: “Holidaymakers can look forward to cashing in on the increased buying power of sterling in most popular destinations this summer. However, those still to book a last minute getaway should take care to factor resort prices into the holiday budget. Tempting as it may be to go for the cheapest package price available, if this is to a destination where resort prices are higher, it could seriously inflate the overall holiday cost. “According to our research, resort spending averages more than £500 so our best advice is to set a realistic budget and take advantage of the improved exchange rates offered in our branches and online for this transaction value. Changing money abroad could cost more as rates offered may be poor and charges made.”
What the pound buys abroad
Currency £500 buys an extra Russian ruble £164.30 Brazilian real £109.69 New Zealand dollar £79.24 Norwegian krone £72.56 Turkish lira £67.32 Hungarian forint £61.58 Euro £55.88 Danish kroner £54.45 Swedish kronor £54.38 Bulgarian lev £54.25
Visit the Post Office website to keep abreast of current exchange rates for around 70 currencieswww.postoffice.co.uk/travel
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