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Pound Sterling

After gaining as much as 0.4 percent on the back of positive BBA Loans for House Purchase figures Sterling dropped against the US Dollar before the close of trade yesterday. Despite the US Dollar broadly softening as a result of ‘fiscal cliff’ concerns the Pound proved unable to hold out against it. However, the British currency was able to gain on the Japanese Yen after it became apparent that the Bank of Japan will not be able to refrain from implementing monetary stimulus for much longer.

US Dollar

US Lawmaker’s efforts to avoid the rapidly approaching ‘fiscal cliff’ of tax hikes and spending cuts have resulted in the House of Representatives arranging an all-important session, to be held on December 30th. The continuing uncertainty surrounding the key issue caused the US Dollar to drop against several of its main peers, falling close to an eight-month low against the Euro during trade yesterday. Any developments relating to the ‘fiscal cliff’ could cause significant ‘Greenback’ volatility today. Fluctuations could also follow the release of US Pending Home Sales figures.

The Euro

A lack of resolution in America regarding the ‘fiscal cliff’ situation, combined with an unexpected increase in French consumer confidence and Italian business sentiment, allowed the Euro to post significant gains against its US counterpart. The common currency climbed near to an eight-month high against the US Dollar. Further signs of improvement in the economic outlook of the 17-nation currency bloc could trigger Euro movement but the main cause of concern in the days ahead will be the last-chance ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations scheduled for Sunday.

Australian Dollar

With the likelihood of the Japanese central bank implementing further fiscal stimulus increased by poor consumer price figures for the Asian nation, the Australian Dollar was able to brush a 20-month high against the safe-haven Japanese Yen. The ‘Aussie’ was further bolstered by the expectation that data scheduled for release on December 31st will show an improvement in Chinese manufacturing PMI data. Despite these recent gains the Australian Dollar is still on track to lose 1 percent this year.

New Zealand Dollar

Yesterday the New Zealand Dollar benefited from heightened pressure on Japan to except the need for further monetary easing and hit a two-week high against the Japanese Yen. The ‘Kiwi’ was leant further support from the improving prospects of main trading partner China. As 2012 comes to a close the South Pacific currency is poised for gains of 5.6 and 19 percent against the US Dollar and Japanese Yen respectively.

Canadian Dollar

As budget negotiations stalled the likelihood of the US being pushed into recession next year by a series of automatic spending cuts and tax hikes increased and caused the ‘Loonie’ – the currency of one of America’s largest trading partners – to drop to an almost four-week low. The Canadian Dollar’s losses against the ‘Greenback’ were tempered however after it was announced that US Lawmakers plan to meet on the 30th of December to attempt to resolve the ‘fiscal cliff’ issue once more. A lack of Canadian economic news means that any movement in the nation’s commodity-driven currency in the days ahead will likely result from US concerns.