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If you are thinking of buying a property in France in 2016, it is important to plan your finances carefully in the last weeks of 2015, particularly any currency transfers to and from France.

Anyone sending money to or from France is at the mercy of fluctuating euro-sterling or euro-US dollar exchange rates. With important economic and political events still expected by the end of 2015 and in the pipeline for 2016, the strength of the euro may change quickly, affecting the exchange rate you receive. Unless you plan ahead, this can make it impossible to know how much you will get for your money and to budget effectively, particularly for larger transfers to pay a deposit, for final property purchase, or any regular maintenance payments for your French home.


We have seen the remarkable effects of economic events on exchange rates over the years, and the start of 2015 was a particularly eventful example. Just one week of January 2015 had passed before sterling fell to a 17-month low against the US dollar, but hitting a six-year high against the euro at the same time!


December is usually a busy month for economic data, setting the tone for the year ahead. These announcements can have a dramatic effect across all currency markets. We have seen notable currency market movement already in December, with significant movements for sterling, the euro and the US dollar as a result of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) decision to extend Quantitative Easing for another six months. Markets are now waiting for news of the US interest rate decision, which is also likely to have a considerable effect on exchange rates.


With a number of similar economic events on the horizon for 2016, we are likely to see more rapid exchange rate movements, so it is all the more important to make sure you have a strategy for any large currency exchanges you need to make during the remainder of 2015, and plan ahead for those you will need in 2016. By keeping one eye looking forward and budgeting effectively, you can really get the most for your money.

The experienced traders at Smart Currency Exchange are constantly monitoring the currency markets and can keep you updated about market changes could affect you and your money. One way they can help you to avoid losing money from exchange rate movements is a Forward Contract, a specialist currency product that lets you lock in the exchange rate at a favourable time, so you know exactly how many euros you will receive for your sterling and vice versa, providing valuable peace of mind at this hectic time.

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