When someone mentions the name Reuters you automatically tend to think about news coverage for the entire world. But while the company is known for this, it also has a comprehensive website that deals with a lot of currency issues, as well as sporting its very own currency converter for everyone to use.
The great thing about this website is that it does have a global reach; it is a well known and respected name and it doesn’t concentrate heavily on a single country to the detriment of all others. In short it can be extremely useful to you regardless of which country you may be living or working in at present.
Starting with the home page
The home page of the site as a whole features a section on each part of the website. It is the home page of the Business and Finance section of www.reuters.com that we are more interested in here, since that is what leads us into the sections concerned with currency.
This home page is largely taken up with the latest news headlines in various areas of the business and finance section, and if you scroll down you will see the finance related news headlines that may be of interest if you want to know what the latest moves and news in the currency markets are.
Most people know that this company is news oriented, and so it should come as no surprise that the initial drive is to bring you the best and latest news stories in each area. The page is set up very well, with a professional look and feel and calm blue writing to reduce the harshness that you may feel if it were to be written out in stark black. It’s a small touch, but one that makes a big difference.
Everything is also easy to access and read about, since all the headlines are clickable, as are the links in the menu column which runs down the left hand side of the home page. The links that are of interest to us from the monetary point of view are those which deal with currencies, markets and so on.
All in all it is efficient and accessible, and there is a neat search feature tucked away at the top right hand corner of the screen, giving you the chance to go straight for what you want, rather than having to search around for it. If you enter the word ‘currency’ in here you will get back a stream of results linking you directly into the masses of information the site holds on this subject. There are also separate tabs for the different kinds of results, i.e. videos and news stories and so on.
It also doesn’t take much more than a glance to realize how far into detail this website goes. It’s not just a case of providing the headlines that everyone is after; there are also related blogs in certain areas, facts and figures given in a professional way that everyone can access, and an efficient feeling that pervades throughout the site.
It is certainly a home page that delivers the goods on several levels.
The currency converter
The currency converter on this site can be found by clicking on the currencies link underneath the business and finance tab on the left hand side of the home page.
The converter is simple and straightforward to use. You simply enter the amount you wish to convert, select the currency that amount is currently in, and then select the currency you want to turn it into. When you hit the go button the page will refresh and you will receive your results.
While some converters will automatically give you the exchange rate used to obtain the calculation, this site doesn’t do that; it simply provides the conversion from the latest data received from the markets, which according to the website is around 15 minutes out of date. This is quite accurate given that some websites which have converters on them only update their exchange rates once a day.
The most popular exchange rates are listed in a simple chart just above the currency converter itself though, so it is easy to check these if they apply to the conversion you want to do.
Also appearing on the same page as the currency converter is a small section which gives you a snapshot of how the markets are currently performing; you can click on separate tabs to see how well the US, UK, Europe and Asian markets are doing at a glance.
Underneath the converter there is also a list of news headlines relating to the currency markets and associated stories, and again you can click on a number of different options to narrow down the area of news you are most interested in.
Other useful tools on this site
Just below the dark blue bar on the left hand side which says News, there is a section called ‘Do more with Reuters’. This is of particular interest as it highlights other ways in which the website can help you.
For example, there is an option to receive newsletters direct to your email address which concern subjects you are interested in. As far as the currency and financial markets are concerned, the daily investor update is probably of most interest, since this covers the financial markets. The business newsletter could be worthwhile too though, as this touches on financial issues as well.
You will also see a second option on this page, which is the possibility of receiving texts direct to your mobile phone. None of these are specifically currency related but there is the option to receive a text every day notifying you of the closing prices in the markets for that day. Furthermore you can click on the Mobile section in the menu column and get more information on how to access the site via your mobile phone.
You need a phone that will allow you to have internet access of course, but if you do have this you will be able to take advantage of accessing the website wherever you are. A lot of more professional and high profile websites are now taking advantage of this new technology to enable them to appeal to people who are always on the go, and it’s arguable that this type of website is one of the most useful ones to be able to access in such a way.
You’ll see that there is also a tab which allows you to get the RSS feeds for various subjects (including business and investing) direct to your mobile as well, making Reuters an even better option for getting all your currency and financial news.
If you have your own website then you might like to take a look around the section showing you a number of widgets that you can use; there are a number of these but the most relevant one to the financial markets is the market data widget, which is similar to the one seen on the front page of the www.reuters.com website when you enter the financial pages.
There is also the opportunity to subscribe to a number of RSS feeds on various subjects, some more news worthy than others.
What other sections are there to explore?
The business markets section is extremely interesting as it shows you an up to the minute picture of what is going on all around the world. Companies, commodities, stocks and currency can all fall under the spotlight here, and if you need to keep in touch with events on a worldwide basis – especially if you do so as part of your career – then www.reuters.com is an excellent website to have bookmarked in your browser.
It’s worth keeping a regular eye on this because it tends to reveal various currency stories from time to time. Anything that is notable enough to make the news will be included on Reuters.com, which is one of the reasons why it is so reliable for digging up the important currency news items and staying in touch with the site on a daily basis.
If you scroll down a short way and look at the right hand side of the page, you will see a section headed Currencies, and below that a list of the current exchange rates for some of the most popular rates people tend to need. If you click on this link it will take you directly into the currencies page.
A little way further down under the market reports section you can see if there are any current news stories regarding the currencies of the world, and there are two links directly into stories on the US dollar and the UK pound.
As you go into any of the main sections in the business and finance part of the website, the clickable links underneath it will change to show the subsequent pages relating to that area of interest. Once you are in the markets section, for example, you will see a link to the economy. This makes interesting reading as it covers such things as interest rates and how economies all over the world are performing.
You can also go into more detail here by searching markets news for the separate regions of the world. This is indicative of how the website as a whole operates. Regardless of whether you are looking at currencies specifically or any other area of financial news, you will see that the website is laid out so as to make it possible to skim the surface of each section, or go into a lot more depth depending on how much information you actually need.
Any website like this has the potential to overwhelm you, and yet Reuters doesn’t do that. Each section is kept completely separate from all the others, although there are also plenty of links from one to another where you are most likely to need them.
There is also a huge archive – put together by month and day – which lets you find the information you need that has passed out of the current news scope. You simply have to select a date and the website will return a list of clickable links to each of the articles that were available on the site for that day. It’s a huge repository of information that could come in handy at any time, and it puts this website at the top of its game.
User friendly features
The website has a fully comprehensive help feature which far exceeds that seen on many other similar websites. While it may look very small at first glance, it is deliberately designed like this so as not to be overwhelming.
If you click on the area which most closely fits your needs you will be taken into a frequently asked questions section, which again is split into separate parts to make it easier for you to find what you need. There is even a section of questions on Reuter’s involvement in the website Second Life; there is more information on this below.
There is also an online help search box at the top of these pages, allowing you to enter your search terms and select the most appropriate area for your query in order to find what you need.
Overall the website is very well designed and put together, and you can return to the main page at any time by clicking on the Reuters name in the top left hand corner of your screen. While the home page is quite long it only touches on the basics of each category before going into each one in a lot more depth on the appropriate pages.
The search sections and tools also make it a lot easier to move around the website and find what you need. All in all what could have been a confusing website has turned out to be something that has a basic structure that flows right through the whole site. It is this structure that gives every page a familiarity and allows you to go straight to what you want to know – almost without even thinking about it.
But perhaps one of the other most useful features about this website is that it is constantly updated and extremely reliable. This is because it is backed by many people who are working on bringing you the best stories from all over the world. This is one site that has a global reach and knows what is going on in the financial markets – as well as many other areas – and can bring it to the world at large in the shortest time possible.
The other notable part of this website which really tells us a lot about how pro-active it is in reaching out to the whole world is the fact that there is a series of links at the bottom of the home page which take you into the various sites all around the world. Every one of these sites is designed to appeal to the people living in that particular country, and as such they are a lot more detailed and in depth than the main site itself.
They do however repeat the design and layout of the main site, thus tying in the whole lot together in a way that makes it easy to go from one site to another if you need more information about different countries for some reason. The main website is actually the United States version, but in total there are seventeen websites for countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, China, Africa and Russia among others. This shows the position that Reuters holds as a world leader in this field.
In short, there can’t be many people who aren’t familiar with the name Reuters, and although the currency converter itself is not as in depth and detailed as some of the others on different websites, there is a lot more up to date information regarding the performance of specific currencies because the website is a strongly news based one.
It’s obvious from taking even the shortest look around the website that it is integrating itself into everyday life in more ways than many other websites. You only need to look at the very bottom of the home page to see a link which says Reuters in Second Life. Second Life is of course the virtual world which has taken the internet by storm, and now many businesses are eager to cash in on the idea of setting up shop in this other life.
As you would expect from a website such as www.reuters.com, there is a chart depicting the current exchange rate between Linden dollars (the currency of choice in Second Life) and the US dollar. Hopefully this will be extended to include other world currencies over time, as many people from many countries are involved with the virtual world and it’s good to know what the exchange rate is elsewhere as well.