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South African rand at a three year low

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Pound Sterling

The Pound fell to a one-month low against the US Dollar yesterday briefly sliding below the all important 1.60 mark. A combination of weak manufacturing data and rising concerns that the Bank of England could opt to add further to its quantitative easing programme pulled on the currency. This morning the Pound has clawed back some of its losses and is hovering just above 1.60. But economists believe that Sterling remains highly vulnerable to further losses and it is expected to slide again.

Against the Euro the Pound has strengthened for a second day after Bank of England governor Mervyn King said that inflation targeting should remain at the heart of the country’s monetary policy. The currency was also boosted by the release of the latest National institute of Economic and Social Research (NEISR) report which surprised everyone by saying that the UK economy has grown by 0.8%- its biggest advance since July 2010. In comparison the International Monetary Fund and the Office of National Statistics painted a grim picture of the UK’s economy.

US Dollar

The US Dollar remains strong as the markets continue to seek shelter from the uncertainty over the Eurozone. The ‘Greenback’ firmed against the Euro due to the IMF downgrading its growth estimates for many countries. The bleak outlook dampened appetite for riskier assets sending investors in search of safe havens. The Dollar also made gains against the British Pound, briefly pushing the pair below the all important 1.60 level.

The Euro

The Euro fell against 13 of its 16 most traded peers as fears over Greece and Spain continue to drag on the single currency. Yesterday’s meeting between German chancellor Angela Merkel and Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras did little to calm the markets nerves that Greece would receive its next aid instalment. The Euro has fallen for a third day in a row amid speculation that the latest economic data will prove that Europe has failed to resolve the debt crisis that is dragging down the region’s economy. So far the Euro has depreciated 5.6% over the past year.

Australian Dollar

The ‘Aussie’ has halted its two-day advance as the markets speculate that tomorrow’s latest job report will show that the nation’s unemployment level has risen to its highest level in three months. The currency had been boosted by the high price of its biggest commodity export of iron ore, its price soared to a two-month high. Investors believe that the jobless rate rose to 5.3% in September up from 5.1% in the previous month.

New Zealand Dollar

The ‘Kiwi’ has slowed its decline against the US Dollar after touching a one-month low of $0.8145. The declines came after the IMF cut its forecast for global growth and snapped demand for the risk sensitive currencies. Against the Euro the ‘Kiwi’ rose after the markets were not convinced that an agreement had been reached over the next batch of bailout funds for Greece. The currency is expected to continue to make gains against the Euro and maintain its levels against the US Dollar.

Canadian Dollar

The ‘Loonie’ slipped against its US cousin due to the IMF slashing its estimates for global growth and causing investors to find shelter in the safe-haven US Dollar. The currency resisted further declines due to a strong rally in the price of the country’s biggest export of crude oil.

South African Rand

South Africa’s currency has fallen to its lowest level for more than three years raising fresh concerns over the government’s commitment to quell the labour turmoil spreading across the country. The Ran has dropped more than 7% against the US Dollar in the past week. The South African Central Bank forecasts the economy will grow 2.6% this year, slipping from 3.1% growth in 2011.

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