On various news websites, there is usually at least one story about stock markets, currencies or a major company’s share price. One of the biggest stories of this nature is how the Pound fell to an eight-year low against the Euro. This, like many other financial news pieces, has consequences far beyond stock exchanges.
If you are worried about such things as holiday money, your weekly shopping bill and energy prices, looking at market data can prove really useful. It doesn’t take a lot of know-how, but checking the news can help you to make your decisions on spending far more sensible.
Should you be planning a trip somewhere in mainland Europe like France or Spain? A look at the currency markets is essential. Seeing how much money you will get at the bureau de change will inform you of what you can buy on holiday. It will also make it easier to know where the best deal is, compared to the real exchange rate.
Monitoring individual companies’ share prices will help you to figure out how much certain everyday goods will cost. Checking live market data for, say, energy companies may hint at any future price rises. If the share price falls, it suggests that profit warnings are coming, which in turn could mean a hike in electricity or gas bills.
In the event of any sudden change in an energy supplier’s share price, there may be another reason to be wary. A fall may mean you should switch to another supplier, enabling you to save money on your energy bills. This can also be applied to supermarkets, particularly the big four — Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons.
Comparing rival companies’ share prices will give you a better idea of where to shop. Rising prices would usually mean that any price rises will be put on hold. However, there are instances where falling share prices may herald a raft of discounts.
Looking at data for markets like the FTSE 100 can help you to understand the state of the economy. Generally speaking, if a market is following a downward trend, the economy isn’t performing too well. When good news is announced e.g., a thaw in US-North Korea relations, stock markets tend to increase in value.
Long-term trends will give you an indication of how much your money is worth. They will impact on other areas too, such as interest on mortgages, petrol prices and even tax rates. A downward trend could see you pay more on all of these things; a rise may see prices remaining steady.