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IMF extends olive branch to Greece

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Pound Sterling

The Pound strengthened against the US Dollar over the weekend pushing the currency pair up above the important 1.60 mark for the first time in several weeks. The strengthening comes as demand for riskier currencies increased after Greece indicated that the International Monetary Fund had relaxed its debt-cutting target for the country, raising hopes that the next round of much needed bailout funds will be granted.

The currency was also helped by the British Bankers Association’s latest report. It showed that mortgage approvals rose by 33,039 in October, compared to 31,544 from the previous month.

US Dollar

The ‘Greenback’ suffered losses against most of its higher yielding currency rivals last Friday as positive news out of the Eurozone led to traders purchasing riskier assets. As a result the currency weakened against nearly all of its most traded peers.

‘Cable’ traders should turn their attention to today’s Eurozone finance ministers meeting. If the ministers finally agree to release the next round of bailout funds for Greece then the Dollar is likely to suffer further losses against its riskier currency rivals.

Traders will also want to pay attention to Tuesday's Core Durable Goods Orders and CB Consumer Confidence, followed by the New Home Sales report on Wednesday and Thursday's Prelim GDP figure.

The Euro

The Euro soared to a seven-month high against the Japanese Yen and benefited from increasing confidence that the Eurozone will make a recovery over the coming years. Against the US Dollar the single currency hit a three-week high but against the Pound it weakened slightly. The Euro could make further gains against its rivals if the Greek situation is resolved positively. However, if it goes badly then the Euro will almost certainly weaken.

Australian Dollar

The ‘Aussie’ is trading near to its strongest levels in two weeks due to the increased sense of optimism that Europe’s finance ministers will agree on a deal to unlock the next round of bailout funds for Greece. If the deal does go ahead then the currency will rise. Against the New Zealand Dollar the ‘Aussie’ hit a two-week low as economists and investors forecast that the Reserve Bank of Australia will lower its borrowing costs at a meeting next month.

New Zealand Dollar

Like the other riskier currencies the ‘Kiwi’ has strengthened on the back of the sense of optimism emerging from the Eurozone finance ministers meeting. The main piece of information that ‘Kiwi’ traders should be aware of is Tuesday’s release of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s inflation expectations survey and Statistics New Zealand releases October's overseas merchandise trade data.

Canadian Dollar

The ‘Loonie’ posted a two-week high against its American counterpart on Friday due to the riskier currency receiving a boost from Eurozone leaders coming close to a deal regarding Greece and by data showing an increase in German business morale. The currency also received a boost from increasing optimism that US lawmakers can agree to a solution to avoid the ‘fiscal cliff’ and general data showing an improving global outlook.

South African Rand

The Rand continues to trade down against the US Dollar but has recovered some ground as riskier assets saw gains due to the Greek and European situation. The South African economy is suffering from continued worker unrest, high inflation and a general lack of confidence.

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