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Prospects of a new oil pipeline strengthen the 'Loonie'

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Canadian Dollar

As investors steadily recovered their appetite for risk the Canadian Dollar was bolstered against its US counterpart. Hopes that a new oil pipeline will boost Canadian growth saw expectations for a BOC rate cut decline and helped the ‘Loonie’ strengthen ahead of tomorrow’s influential domestic employment report.

Pound Sterling

A slightly disappointing UK services report left the Pound a little weaker against the US Dollar and Euro at the close of the European session. The British currency was holding steady this morning and was barely affected by a report showing that house prices increased by more-than-expected in January. If the Bank of England leaves the level of asset purchases unaltered today and reasserts that interest rates will be held at record lows for the foreseeable future, Sterling could soften further.

US Dollar

While the US Dollar faltered slightly after jobs data showed a smaller-than-forecast gain in positions last month, losses were limited as the ISM non-manufacturing gauge for the world’s largest economy edged up to 54.0. With US non-farm payrolls due out tomorrow Greenback volatility may be limited in the hours ahead, although the BoE and ECB rate decisions will be of interest.

The Euro

A shockingly steep decline in retail sales in the Eurozone put the Euro under pressure yesterday. The common currency recorded declines against several of its major rivals and was close to an 11-week low against the US Dollar ahead of the European Central Bank’s rate decision. If the ECB adopts a dovish stance additional Euro losses are likely to occur.

Australian Dollar

Overnight a stream of Australian reports caused ‘Aussie’ movement. While the NAB business confidence measure jumped sharply in the fourth quarter (rising from a positively revised 5 in the third quarter to 8 in the fourth) domestic retail sales increased by less-than-forecast. However, as Australia also posted an unexpected trade surplus the South Pacific currency ended local trading in a stronger position against peers like the US and New Zealand Dollars.

New Zealand Dollar

In a quiet news day for New Zealand the ‘Kiwi’ extended declines against its Australian counterpart following the publication of upbeat Australian data. That being said, the currency does continue to derive underlying support from this week’s encouraging local employment report and could extend gains against the Pound if the tone of the BoE policy decision is cautious.

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