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Eurozone showing encouraging signs

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Pound Sterling

The Pound strengthened against the US Dollar after the Bank of England kept its monetary policy unchanged as expected. Against the Euro, the Pound weakened for a fifth day in-a-row due to the European Central Bank not giving any hint of a possible interest rate cut in the Eurozone.

The BOE said that its main interest rate would remain at the record low 0.5% for the foreseeable future.

US Dollar

The safe-haven US Dollar took losses against most of its higher-yielding currency rivals yesterday, Forecasts that the Eurozone is on its way back to economic recovery led to a round of risk taking in the markets.

Today, Dollar traders should be aware of the latest Trade balance figures. Economists are predicting that the figure will come in at -41.1, slightly higher than last month’s figure of 42.2. A better-than-expected figure will increase investor confidence in the US recovery.

The Euro

The Euro strengthened significantly after EU officials issued a statement saying that they expect economic growth in the region to improve, and that Eurozone interest rates would remain unchanged at 0.75%.

Australian Dollar

The ‘Aussie’ weakened from a four-month high due to technical indicators signalling that the currency’s gains may have been too rapid. The currency slid versus most of its 16 major counterparts after data showed inflation in China, the South Pacific nation’s biggest trading partner, quickened more-than-expected, and spurred concern that policy makers will struggle to balance price gains and growth.

New Zealand Dollar

The ‘Kiwi’ weakened against the Euro due to European Central Bank President Mario Draghi claiming that the Eurozone economy will show signs of a gradual recovery later in the year and signalled that the Bank would not be adjusting the ECB interest rates in the near future.

Against the US Dollar the currency strengthened due to China posting trade data that showed that its exports jumped by 14% last month.

Canadian Dollar

The ‘Loonie’ strengthened against the US Dollar as strong Chinese trade data improved risk sentiment in the markets. The commodity-sensitive currency gained as prices for oil and metals increased after data showed that China’s exports and imports grew substantially last month.

South African Rand

The Rand has weakened against all of its peers due to the credit ratings agency, Fitch, cutting South Africa’s credit rating. The agency blamed the cut on the nation’s weak growth, policy uncertainty and the continuing labour unrest. They said that economic growth performance and prospects had deteriorated, affecting public finances and fuelling social and political tensions.

South Africa’s sovereign credit rating was cut to BBB from BBB+.