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Currency update, July 15: sterling hits two month high against dollar

Published:  15 July, 2010

Currency daily update for July 15 from Smart Currency Exchange: sterling hits two month high against the dollar.

For specialist drinks currency advice go to

Currency daily update for July 15 from Smart Currency Exchange: sterling hits two month high against the dollar.

For specialist drinks currency advice go to

Currency rates, July 15
EURO/GBP - 1.199
EURO/US$ - 1.277
US$/GBP - 1.531
CHF/GBP - 1.606
CAN$/GBP - 1.581
AUS$/GBP - 1.740
ZAR/GBP - 11.544
JPY/GBP - 134.69
HKD/GBP - 11.902
NZD/GBP - 2.122
HUF/GBP - 334.30

Sterling hit a two month high against the US dollar yesterday as UK jobs data came in better than expected. The number of people claiming unemployment fell by more than expected, showing a fall of 20,800 people against an expectation of 20,0000.

In addition, the rate of unemployment fell from 7.9% to 7.8% driven by a record boost in part time employment. The data was the catalyst to see sterling jump by nearly 1% to nearly $1.53/ £1 - the highest rate in two months. Concerns over the banking sector held sterling back, as the FTSE 100 traded down 0.4%.

Against the euro, the pound gained marginally to trade back above the €1.20/ £1 level. However, movement between sterling and the euro has been fairly limited this week with most off the volatility coming against the US dollar. In terms of data, there is little out today in the UK.

In the euro zone, inflation figures came in as expected with year on year CPI inflation showing 1.4% the 'core' CPI showing 0.9% - both of which had been widely predicted. Month on month industrial production underperformed however, posting 0.9% growth against an expectation of 1.2%. Despite holding at around €1.20/ £1 for the last few days, analysts are still expecting the euro to weaken against sterling but this is reliant on the Bank of England raising interest rates or at least ending the asset purchase programme, which is still on pause. Sovereign debt is still a concern, but seems to have taken a back seat. It is not lurking far below the surface though.

In the USA, monthly retail sales figures improved, but by a lot less than was expected. Sales fell by 0.5%, but were expected to decline by 0.2%. Import prices also declined by 1.3% - all of which added to the US dollar's decline against the pound. Out later today, producer prices are expected to decline alongside CPI inflation data which is expected to show a similar decline as inflationary pressures remain low. There is an expectation that the US labour market figures out today will continue to show a gradual improvement.

Elsewhere, China announced lower than expected GDP data for the 2nd quarter and also lower inflation figures. The Chinese government has been actively trying to cool the economy, and the figures suggest that their efforts have been successful. As a result, risk appetite got a boost, as traders speculated that tight restrictions on bank lending would be eased.

* Smart Currency Exchange is a currency partner to Harpers Wine and Spirit. Harpers Wine and Spirit has teamed up with Smart to provide readers with a free bespoke currency service.

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