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Weaker euro good for exporters, tourists

Friday, January 13, 2012 - 02:13

Jan. 13 - As turmoil continues in the euro zone, the euro is trading at around a 16-month low against the pound and the dollar, which could be good for European exporters and visiting tourists. Joanna Partridge reports

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UPSOUND "And it's 300 euro" Abeed Ahmed is getting ready for a ski-ing holiday to France - and he's exchanging his pounds for euros. His money will go further than a year-and-a-half ago, as the euro hovers around a 16-month low against the pound, and also against the dollar. SOUNDBITE: Abeed Ahmed , British holidaymaker, saying (English): "According to the internet, this was the cheapest place to pick up, which is why I went for it." Nuvnish Malik is going on a business trip - and while he has to travel at short notice this time, he usually pays attention to exchange rates. SOUNDBITE: Nuvnish Malik, British traveller, saying (English): "It's always strong consideration whenever travelling, you just haemorrhage money through surcharges and everything else, and if the exchange rate's not working in your favour, you know a simple decision or even holding back makes a big difference." Travelex says its sales of euros are a third higher since the start of January than they were during the same period last year. There's also been a boost in online sales, and customers loading money on to their prepaid cards. But it's not just holidaymakers who watch exchange rates. Louise Cooper, a Markets Analyst at BGC Partners says ordinary investors can find it easier to get into trading currencies than stocks. SOUNDBITE: Louise Cooper, BGC Partners, saying (English): "It's quite a dauting, intellectual challenge just learning about the share market, however currencies are in some way a lot simpler, there's a limited number of them, and they're very dependent on economic and political events, which most people know about anyway. And they're highly liquid, they're cheap to come in and out of." With events continuing to unfold in the euro zone, Cooper says the single currency will probably remain under pressure. SOUNDBITE: Louise Cooper, BGC Partners, saying (English): The European Central Bank is likely to cut interest rates again, at least once, maybe twice. Credit ratings agencies are likely to downgrade their ratings of euro zone sovereign states, and thirdly it is likely at some stage that the euro zone crisis will kick off again." While a weaker euro is good news for exporting nations like Germany - it will also be welcomed by those visiting the continent. Which should give a lift to some in the tourist trade. Joanna Partridge, Reuters

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Weaker euro good for exporters, tourists

Friday, January 13, 2012 - 02:13