Currencies In Review: What We Saw In 2019 And What Might Be Ahead

Last year was quite the rollercoaster, with many intense events that many of us probably pushed to the back of our minds. The United Kingdom pushed further for Brexit, President Trump was impeached, trade wars were launched and protesters occupied many global cities. As the world becomes more connected, everyday news has an increasing impact on global trade, ultimately leading to unexpected and sometimes drastic forex shifts. Throughout it all, the USD has remained the unofficial king of currencies. Investopedia lists the top 18 forex currency pairs based on their overall liquidity. Of those 18, the USD is involved in the most currency pairs, reflecting the overall market’s sentiment to value the USD over other currencies. In a similar trend, the US is the origin of almost 24% of all global remittance, with over $148 billion sent from the US in 2017, according to the Pew Research Center. But trends can change, and shifting politics could easily unseat the USD. Will 2020 be the year for a new currency to take the throne?

“Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security.” – John Allen Paulos, an American professor of mathematics

2019: Who was it good for?

There are a lot of events from 2019 that may have a huge impact on 2020’s forex and remittance trading, and looking at them by region may help us understand who 2019 was good for.

The United Kingdom in 2019

A lot of turmoil here due to Brexit as a whole, in addition to the seemingly back-and-forth attitude that the Kingdom has about the topic. However, the GBP actually grew stronger against the USD over the year, seeing approximately a 4.5% increase from January 1, 2019, to January 1, 2020.

Europe in 2019

Brexit wreaked havoc here, too, as uncertainty about how the Brexit Withdrawal Bill will affect the eurozone economy. Germany saw a year-long economic slowdown, but despite the drop, the economy continued to grow for the tenth year in a row. The EUR saw approximately a 3.1% decrease against the dollar from January 1, 2019, to January 1, 2020, and unless European economies can close the growth gap, the USD is expected to stay resilient.

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