Sterling had a strong week against the euro reaching fresh highs of €1.2830/£1 as fears surrounding the Eurozone were once again at the forefront of traders’ minds.
This week - (Last week)
EURO/GBP 1.2798 - (EURO/GBP 1.2646)
US$/GBP 1.5692 - (US$/GBP 1.5436)
CHF/GBP 1.5379 - (CHF/GBP 1.5199)
CAN$/GBP 1.5822 - (CAN$/GBP 1.5715)
AUS$/GBP 1.5082 - (AUS$/GBP 1.5190)
ZAR/GBP 12.8625 - (ZAR/GBP 12.8265)
JPY/GBP 123.31 - (JPY/GBP 122.29)
HKD/GBP 12.1713 - (HKD/GBP 11.968)
NZD/GBP 1.9561 - (NZD/GBP 1.9504)
SEK/GBP 10.8936 - (SEK/GBP 10.8216)
AED/GBP 5.7626 - (AED/GBP 5.6651)
US$/EURO 1.2254 - (US$/EURO 1.2188)
INR/GBP 86.54 - (INR/GBP 85.90)
A busy week for the UK included the IMF downgrading the UK’s growth forecast in 2012 from 0.8% to 0.2% and the Consumer Price Index figures came in lower than expected at 2.4%. The Bank of England’s latest meeting minutes revealed that two members of the Monetary Policy Committee voted against an increase in quantitative easing. Other data released included monthly retail sales figures which were much worse than expected. Public sector net borrowing figures released today will be the main news on the agenda.
The euro has had a poor week compounded by the German Chancellor’s comments where she expressed her concerns for the “European project” in general. Weak Spanish bond auctions continued to weigh on the euro with the benchmark 10 year bond yields rising back above the 7% mark yesterday. German inflation data is released today; but, the Eurogroup meetings will be the main news on the agenda as the finance ministers meet to discuss the details for the bailout of the Spanish banking sector.
The US dollar had a mixed week as risk aversion dominated the market and a raft of poor data was released. Weak data this week included the number of people claiming unemployment benefits rising by much more than anticipated, core retail sales and retail sales figures missing expectations, the manufacturing index figures from Philadelphia were lower than predicted and the number of existing homes sold in the previous month dropped significantly when a rise had been expected. All this poor data would suggest that the Federal Bank would need to loosen monetary policy soon to boost the economy; but, despite this the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank provided little clear indication that quantitative easing would be implemented in the short term. With little data out of the US today, the markets will look elsewhere for influence.
Elsewhere, the Australian dollar was one of the best performing currencies this week following the Australian monetary policy meeting suggesting that another rate cut was not imminent. The Japanese yen was also strong this week due to its status as a safe haven currency in a risk adverse market. Quarterly import prices figures were released from Australia overnight; however, the main news on the agenda is the Canadian Core CPI.
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