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EU strikes deal to cap bankers' bonuses

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Pound Sterling

The Pound is up slightly against the Euro and US Dollar after a report showed that UK consumer confidence held steady in February. Optimism about personal finances has risen to their highest level in almost two years. The sentiment index stayed at -26 after last month’s rise of 3 points.

US Dollar

The ‘Greenback’ strengthened slightly against the Euro after it was announced that European Union officials have struck a provisional deal to cap bankers’ bonuses. The currency also found some support from yesterday’s speech by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and the release of better-than-expected durable goods data. The currency is expected to come under some pressure over the next few days as spending cuts called ‘sequestration’ are put into force.

The Euro

The Euro has held steady against the US Dollar and Japanese Yen due to a relatively smooth auction of Italian government bonds. The bond sale has tempered concerns over the nation’s election result stalemate. Ongoing uncertainty over the Italian election could temper the single currency over the coming weeks.

Australian Dollar

The ‘Aussie’ strengthened against the Japanese Yen due to an increase in risk appetite after US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s reaffirmed his commitment to the US monetary stimulus plan. The currency was also boosted by data that suggested that investment into the Australian mining sector is set to rise over the course of the year. The Reserve Bank of Australia is also expected to not make any further interest rate cuts in 2013.

New Zealand Dollar

The ‘Kiwi’ strengthened against its major peers due to economic data showing that business confidence continues to improve in the county. Business confidence has risen to a 19-month high. The currency also saw support from data out of Australia that showed that the fall in capital spending wasn’t as sharp as people feared.

Canadian Dollar

The ‘Loonie’ declined to its weakest level since June against the US Dollar yesterday after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke defended the Central Bank’s asset-buying program. He also said that spending cuts set to take effect in two days would harm the economy of Canada’s largest trading partner. Today, the Canadian currency has stabilised and is holding steady around the 0.97 mark.

South African Rand

The Rand has weakened against the US Dollar due to investor concerns about the South African government’s ability to finance the nation’s wide budget deficit in the face of poor economic growth. During his budget speech finance minister Pravin Gordhan said that the 2013 budget deficit would be 4.6% of GDP, a figure wider than his last prediction.

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