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Slow start for the Dollar this week

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Pound Sterling

The Pound is little changed against the Euro and US Dollar as economists await the release of the latest UK PMI Construction data. The data is expected to show that the construction sector shrank for a seventh consecutive month in May. Sterling saw some support after data showed that retail sales rose in May. Against the commodity based currencies, Sterling weakened as some weaker-than-expected US Manufacturing data was taken to reduce the probability that the Federal Reserve will begin to taper its asset purchasing programme during June.

US Dollar

The ‘Greenback’ remained below 100 Yen after falling to a one-month low yesterday. The Dollar fell after data showed that manufacturing contracted in May at the fastest pace in four years. An increased expectation that the Federal Reserve will ease its quantitative easing programme has lessened, benefiting emerging market currencies.

The Euro

The Euro edged upwards against the Pound after data showed that contraction in the Eurozone’s manufacturing sector eased in May. Although economists predicted that the gauge of manufacturing activity for the 17-nation currency bloc would remain unchanged from April’s 47.8. It actually rose to 48.3 in May, taking it closer to the 50 mark which separates growth from contraction.

Australian Dollar

The ‘Aussie’ weakened against all of its major peers as the Reserve Bank of Australia chose to maintain its benchmark interest rate at the record low level of 2.75%. Against the US Dollar the Australian Dollar recovered some of its lost ground as expectations eased that the Federal Reserve will taper its monetary stimulus programme.

New Zealand Dollar

The ‘Kiwi’ was little changed against its Australian counterpart after the Reserve Bank of Australia maintained its benchmark interest rate at the record low level of 2.75%. The currency managed to make some gains against the US Dollar after speculation that the Federal Reserve will slow its monetary easing policy benefitted commodity based currencies.

Canadian Dollar

The ‘Loonie’ rose to a two-week high against the US Dollar due to the US manufacturing sector posting a surprise decline. The Canadian Dollar joined a mix of currencies, such as the Euro, Yen and Australian Dollar that gained against the U.S. Dollar after the U.S. ISM manufacturing number shrank in May, showing contraction in the sector.

South African Rand

The Rand has weakened against the US Dollar breaking the pattern of commodity currencies making gains against the US currency. The Rand’s fall was caused by renewed concerns about worsening labour unrest; yesterday a union member was shot dead. The currency could find some support if the latest business confidence index for May shows signs of a strong recovery.

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