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Political scandal beginning to take its toll on Euro

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Pound Sterling

The Pound strengthened against the US Dollar on Friday due to strong US trade deficit data generating improved risk appetite. The US trade deficit narrowed to a better-than-expected $38.5 billion in December, down from the $48.6 billion recorded in November.

Today, Sterling is trading down against the Dollar and Euro as the market awaits the release of the latest Core Consumer Price Index data on Tuesday and the latest Bank of England inflation report due on Wednesday.

US Dollar

The ‘Greenback’ has weakened against the Euro, snapping a three-day gain against the single currency due to investors waiting for a speech by the Federal Reserve that is expected to reiterate the case to maintain its monetary stimulus measures.

The Euro

The Euro weakened to a two-week low against the US Dollar in early trade due to growing concerns over Spain as a scandal on secret cash payments engulfs the Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. Concerns over Italy have also dragged on the currency as the outcome of the upcoming election becomes increasingly uncertain.

Australian Dollar

The ‘Aussie’ has edged higher due to light trading in Asia before slipping. Most of the Asian markets are closed for the Lunar New Year and Japan is shut for a public holiday.

The currency remains volatile due to the release of worse-than-expected government housing data. Home loan approvals fell 1.5% in December; most economists had been predicting no change. The possibility of the Reserve Bank of Australia choosing to cut rates further this year as the economy remains fragile may continue to weigh on the ‘Aussie’ Dollar.

New Zealand Dollar

The ‘Kiwi’ followed its Australian relation downwards after official figures showed that home lending shrank in the bigger nation, another sign that the economy is slowing for New Zealand’s biggest trade partner.

Canadian Dollar

The ‘Loonie’ has slipped to its weakest level in a month against the US Dollar due to an unexpected drop in employment in January. Concerns are growing that the world’s 11th-largest economy is slowing. The dip saw the currency slip below parity against the ‘Greenback’.

The country has seen its trade deficit widen for the ninth month in a row, housing starts have fallen to their lowest level since 2009 and it is expected that

Manufacturing has also weakened.

South African Rand

The Rand is holding steady against the US Dollar but could weaken over the course of the day due to a weaker Euro and the lack of any news from Asia, where many markets are closed for the Lunar New Year holiday. The main data event for the Rand this week is the release of the latest Retail Sales figures and mining production numbers due to be released on Wednesday and Thursday.

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