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A good week for the Dollar

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Pound Sterling

The Pound is little changed against the US Dollar and Euro as economists await the release of data that is expected to show that the UK’s budget deficit narrowed in May from the previous year. The deficit is expected to have fallen to £12.6 billion from £15.8 billion a year ago.

US Dollar

The ‘Greenback’ is heading for a weekly gain against all of its major peers ahead of next week’s data releases for home prices and durable goods orders. The Dollar has benefited from the Federal Reserve’s suggestion that it will be scaling down its monetary easing programme as investors opted for the safe haven currency as volatility rocked the markets.

The Euro

The Euro edged up against the Pound ahead of the European Central Bank releasing data on the currency bloc’s current account balance. The data is expected to show a surplus of 25.9 billion Euros, the highest since 1997.

Australian Dollar

The ‘Aussie’ is expected to continue its sharp decline as investors sell the currency in favour of the US Dollar. Adding to the currencies woes was the downtrend in commodity prices and the weakening of the Chinese economy.

Next week will be relatively quiet on the domestic data front but the major issue of uncertainty could be the potential challenge to Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard. As her popularity falls speculation is rising that her Labour Party will choose a new leader ahead of September’s elections.

New Zealand Dollar

The ‘Kiwi’ is set to make a weekly decline against the US Dollar after the US Federal Reserve offered more details about its intention to pull back on its monetary stimulus programme. Fed chairman Ben Bernanke said yesterday the bank's US$85 billion a month of bond buying will start to wind down this year and be completed in 2014. The currency was also weighed down by data that showed that the nation’s economy grew at slower pace than expected.

Canadian Dollar

The ‘Loonie’ fell to a two month low against the US Dollar after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said that the USA’s monetary stimulus programme will be eased this year. With fewer US Dollars in circulation their value will increase making the currency more attractive to investors. Also weighing upon the currency was the 2.9% tumble made by Crude oil, Canada’s biggest export.

South African Rand

The Rand firmed against the US Dollar yesterday after South Africa’s current account deficit narrowed in the first quarter of 2013 as exporters were supported by the weakened Rand. The shortfall narrowed to 5.8% of GDP, down from the 6.5% recorded in the final quarter of 2012. Economists had expected the deficit to widen by 7%.

Despite the positive news the Rand remains under pressure as investors remain concerned that the US Federal Reserve could scale back its stimulus programme and withdraw capital from emerging markets which they see as carrying more risk.