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Sterling UN-phased by 2013 budget

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Daily currency update from Send money home

Pound Sterling

The Pound strengthened against the US Dollar and Euro, after hitting two-week highs as the latest retail sales data increased by 1.9% in February. The rise in sales is the first time since September 2012 that the data showed signs of improvement.

Sterling has been supported by the Bank of England’s comments that any increase in bond purchases in a bid to stimulate growth could cause an ‘unwarranted depreciation of sterling’. George Osborne’s budget had little impact on the currency’s movements.

US Dollar

The ‘Greenback’ has strengthened by 1% against the Japanese Yen and continues to make gains against the Euro. The rise came after a decision by the Federal Reserve to continue its aggressive monetary easing spurred on optimism for a US economic recovery. Continuing risk aversion in the Euro zone has seen investors turn the Dollar for a safe-haven.

The Euro

The Euro weakened against the US Dollar and a number of its peers due to the latest data out of France showed that business activity in the country shrunk at its fastest pace in four years, defying economist expectations for signs of an improvement. In more bad news for the Euro zone the latest German PMI data showed that the region’s largest economy saw declines in its manufacturing and service sectors in February.

Australian Dollar

The ‘Aussie’ weakened slightly against its peers due to a dispute in the country’s ruling political party. Labour Party veteran Simon Crean dramatically called for a vote of confidence against Prime Minister Julia Gillard. The currency could remain volatile as the markets expect ongoing political uncertainty over Gillard’s leadership. The situation in Cyprus and a strengthening Yen have also weighed upon the ‘Aussie’.

New Zealand Dollar

The ‘Kiwi’ strengthened to a three-week high after the government released data that showed the nation’s economy grew by 1.5% in the final quarter of 2012, nearly double what the Reserve Bank predicted. The New Zealand's economy grew at a faster pace than expected as the $30 billion Canterbury rebuild continues to gather momentum. The pace of growth is the fastest in three-years.

Canadian Dollar

The ‘Loonie’ strengthened against the US Dollar for the first time in three-days after the Federal Reserve maintained stimulus measures. The move has boosted growth expectations in Canada’s biggest trading partner. The currency was also supported by a jump in retail sales, which rose 0.9% in January compared to 2.1% decline posted in December.

South African Rand

The Rand remains under pressure as South Africa faces the possibility of a huge exodus of foreign investors who are seeing the plunge in the Rand's value rapidly erode their stock and bond returns. Ongoing concerns over labour unrest and the nation’s huge trade and current account deficits are pushing the currency ever closer to the key R9.30 level against the US Dollar.

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