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Pound Sterling

The Pound hit its highest level against the US Dollar for almost three months late yesterday after stubborn UK inflation added to expectations that the Bank of England will refrain from implementing a new round of monetary easing. Sterling broke through the $1.6226 level and could make further gains ahead of today’s release of the Bank of England’s December minutes. Against the Euro the Pound was little changed but could make losses if this afternoon’s retail sales data shows a larger-than-expected decline.

US Dollar

The ‘Greenback’ made losses against a number of high-yielding rivals due to an increase in risk taking as investors grow more optimistic over the ongoing ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations. Against the Japanese Yen the Dollar remained within reach of a 20-month high as speculation mounted that the new Japanese government will soon implement an aggressive policy of monetary easing weighed down on the Yen.

The Euro

The Euro hit a seven-month high against the US Dollar due to speculation that US lawmakers will agree to a budget compromise regarding the ‘fiscal cliff’. The single currency also made gains against its major counterparts after credit rating agency Standard & Poor increased Greece’s credit rating. Euro traders should keep an eye on the ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations, any changes positive or negative will impact the currency.

Australian Dollar

The ‘Aussie’ has declined for a third day against the US Dollar due to concerns that the Oceanic nation’s economy is slowing and could face further interest rate cuts by the Central Bank. The worries come as Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens said that a seamless handover from mining to other drivers of growth may not be possible.

New Zealand Dollar

The ‘Kiwi’ has weakened after the New Zealand based and world’s largest dairy exporter, Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd said that wholesale milk prices have continued to decline. The currency is also being weakened by expectations that its latest GDP data will show that the nation’s economy has weakened.

Canadian Dollar

The ‘Loonie’ has continued to trade lower against the US Dollar as investors look to riskier assets as they become more confident that U.S leaders will reach an agreement on the ‘fiscal cliff’ before the end of the month deadline. The currency could see some strengthening if oil prices continue to rise.

South African Rand

The Rand edged upwards against the Dollar coming close to a two-month high after the ANC re-elected President Jacob Zuma as its leader. The currency was also aided by optimism that US lawmakers will agree a deal over the ‘fiscal cliff’. With the elections out of the way investors will now focus on policy changes and the continuing issues surrounding the nation’s mining sector.

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