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Pound climbs to highest-level since 2009 against US Dollar

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Pound Sterling

The Pound climbed to its highest-level since August 2009 against the US Dollar before easing back slightly in early trading. The rise came following the release of worse-than-forecast US GDP data and the publication of a report which showed that UK consumer confidence climbed to its best level since 2007. Against the Euro the Pound softened as economists reduced their bets that the European Central Bank will introduce a quantitative easing programme at next week’s ECB policy meeting.

US Dollar

The US Dollar fell against most major peers after data showed that GDP fell sharply in the first quarter of the year. GDP declined to 0.1%, well below forecasts for a rise of 1.2%. Despite the decline the Federal Reserve said that it will taper its monetary easing programme to $45 billion per month, a move widely expected by the markets.

The Euro

The Euro climbed to a three-week high against the US Dollar and made gains against the Pound and other major peers. The currency strengthened due to speculation that investors were reducing their bets for the ECB to unveil a QE programme at next week’s policy meeting. Yesterday’s Eurozone inflation report showed that consumer prices ticked higher to 0.7% in April, easing pressure on the ECB to take action to stave off the threat of deflation.

Australian Dollar

The ‘Aussie’ made gains against the US Dollar following yesterday’s weaker-than-expected US GDP data. It briefly made a sharp drop before rallying after the Federal Reserve announced that it would continue to taper its quantitative easing programme. Against the Pound the currency is weaker as Sterling found support from a strong consumer confidence report.

New Zealand Dollar

The New Zealand Dollar rose to fresh one-week highs against the U.S. Dollar on Thursday, a day after data showed that the US economy grew far more slowly than forecast in the first quarter. The currency shrugged off data which showed that China’s manufacturing PMI ticked higher last month.

Canadian Dollar

The Canadian Dollar softened against the US Dollar and other major peers after the Federal Reserve announced a further tapering to its quantitative easing policy. Investors widely ignored yesterday’s Canadian GDP data to instead focus on events in the Eurozone and USA.

South African Rand

The Rand firmed against several major peers as it tracked the Euro higher and took advantage of a weakened US Dollar. Investors appear to have widely ignored yesterday’s trade data which showed that South Africa’s trade deficit widened more than forecast.