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A strong week for the US Dollar

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Pound Sterling

The Pound is set to decline for a fourth-week in a row against the US Dollar due to increased demand for the US currency. Sterling fell to a two-and-half year low against the ‘Greenback’ yesterday and is set to make further declines. The UK currency briefly snapped its decline against the Euro after the Bank of England chose to maintain interest rates at 0.75% and its asset purchasing target at £375 billion.

US Dollar

The ‘Greenback’ has strengthened to its strongest level since August 2009 against the Japanese Yen and rose against the majority of its peers. The rise comes after the nations jobs data is expected to show signs of improvement and as speculation mounts that the Federal Reserve will slow its stimulus programme. The US economy is expected to have created 165,000 jobs in February compared to the 157,000 in January.

The Euro

The Euro strengthened against its peers after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi wrong footed investors by being surprisingly optimistic over the state of the Eurozone. Draghi played down the threat of contagion to other Euro nations from the political stalemate in Italy and was upbeat over the outlook for the region. The ECB also opted to not cut interest rates.

Australian Dollar

The ‘Aussie’ has hit a 28-year high against Sterling and is climbing against the Japanese Yen reaching a four-and-a-half year high. The currency hit 68.5 pence, its highest level since 1985. Against the US Dollar the ‘Aussie’ weakened after the latest trade data out of China showed that the world’s second largest nation lessened its demand for iron ore, Australia biggest export.

New Zealand Dollar

The ‘Kiwi’ has weakened against the US Dollar following the release of data showing that China’s trade surplus narrowed in February. China's imports fell a sharper-than-expected 15.2% in February from a year earlier, compared with a 28.8% rise in January. Economists had predicted a 10% decline. Concerns over the impact of an ongoing drought in New Zealand’s north island have also weighed on the currency.

Canadian Dollar

The ‘Loonie’ strengthened against the US Dollar after the nations latest trade figures showed that Canada’s trade deficit narrowed in January. Exports rose 2.1 per cent to $39.1 billion while imports decreased 1.9 per cent to $39.3 billion. The currency also benefitted from trade out of the USA that showed that the world’s biggest economy increased its imports of Canadian oil.

South African Rand

The Rand slumped to fresh four-year lows against the US Dolla and fell against the majority of its peers after South Africa posted gloomy economic data. The currency fell nearly 1% on Wednesday to R9.18, its weakest level since April 2009; it remains weighed down by concerns over labour strife which has hit output in the mining sector, the latest victim being coal producer Exxaro Resources.

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