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Sterling weakens over concerns of further quantitative easing

Published:  24 February, 2012

This week has seen sterling weaken against the majority of currencies amid concerns that we could see further quantitative easing in the UK.

This week has seen sterling weaken against the majority of currencies amid concerns that we could see further quantitative easing in the UK. 


Currency rates  - February 24

EURO/GBP - 1.1764

US$/GBP - 1.5740

CHF/GBP - 1.4190

CAN$/GBP - 1.5710

AUS$/GBP - 1.4689

ZAR/GBP - 12.0025

JPY/GBP - 126.790

HKD/GBP - 12.2060

NZD/GBP - 1.8809

SEK/GBP - 10.4085

AED/GBP - 5.7827

US$/EURO - 1.3375

INR/GBP - 77.38

The Bank of England's minutes released this week showed that two of its members voted for the injection of £75 billion, on top of the £50 billion announced at the start of February. On a more positive note, public sector net borrowing figures released at the start of the week suggest that the UK will beat its own targets to cut the national deficit this year.


In Europe, early on Tuesday morning the second Greek bailout was finally agreed bringing some respite to European markets as it appears Greece will avoid defaulting in the near term at least. Yesterday saw stronger than expected Germany Information and Forschung (IFO) data released demonstrating the feeling that the German economy will remain strong despite the ongoing problems in Europe. Moreover, the Greek parliament has taken its first step towards securing the now agreed €130 billion bailout by signing off on the bond swap agreement for private investors which is due to start today.


In the US, there has not been a great deal of data released this week; however, the release of unemployment claims data yesterday showed that the number of individuals who filed for unemployment insurance for the first time during the past week was at the lowest since March 2008. Housing data released yesterday also beat estimates reaffirming that the recovery in the US is starting to pick up pace.


Elsewhere, the main news our this week came from China, where the central bank has cut the reserve requirement ratio to boost lending and manufacturing. Purchasing Managers Index  (PMI ) figures released showed a contraction for the fourth straight month providing further suggestion that the Chinese economy is slowing down. In Australia the central bank's minutes showed that the bank would still consider cutting interest rates if demand conditions weakened despite keeping the rate being kept on hold at 4.25% the week before.

Supplied by Nick Ryder of Smart Currency Exchange, the currency partner to Harpers Wine and Spirit who have teamed up with Smart to provide readers with a free bespoke currency service. Go to for more information or call on 0207 898 0500.