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Cyprus rejects initial bailout terms

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Pound Sterling

The Pound is little changed against the US Dollar as investors await the release of the Bank of England’s minutes for it last policy meeting and as Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne prepares to deliver his annual budget. Against the Euro, Sterling is hovering close to a five-week high after the Cypriot parliament rejected the proposed tax on bank deposits suggested by European Union finance ministers.

US Dollar

The ‘Greenback’ has strengthened to a four-month high against the Euro after the Cypriot government overwhelmingly rejected an EU proposed bank levy. The currency also made gains against a number of other peers due to the release of further positive economic data. The number of building permits issued in February rose by 4.6%, above the 2.3% increase predicted by economists.

The Euro

The Euro is trading close to a four-month low against the US Dollar after the Cypriot parliament voted to reject a bank-deposit levy needed to secure a bailout, risking renewed turmoil in the currency bloc. The currency could weaken further if the rumours that the Cypriots will turn to the Russians for their needed bailout funds are true.

Australian Dollar

The ‘Aussie’ has mostly held its ground despite a wave of negativity sweeping the market. Risk aversion remains high after Cyprus rejected a bank deposit levy. As a commodity based currency the ‘Aussie’ could find some support in the rising price of gold which rose above $US1600 an ounce.

New Zealand Dollar

The ‘Kiwi’ has weakened against the US Dollar but made gains against the Euro due to the fallout of the Cypriot governments decision to reject a bank levy. Global events may overshadow local data over the next two days. The balance of payments for the fourth-quarter showed the annual current account deficit widened to $10.28 billion, or 4.9% of gross domestic product.

Canadian Dollar

The ‘Loonie’ has weakened for a second day against its US peer after Canadian factory sales fell in January. The currency was also not helped by the increase in risk aversion caused by the Cyprus situation.

South African Rand

The Rand remains under pressure due to the ongoing worries over the Eurozone. Weak economic fundamentals and the constant threat of more strikes in South Africa's mining sector which accounts for the highest output of platinum in the world, should also keep pressure on the Rand.

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