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The Pound holds firm ahead of data UK releases

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Pound Sterling

The Pound is firmer against the Euro and US Dollar as economists await the release of UK Services PMI data which is forecast to show a further expansion of the UK’s biggest sector. The currency is also finding support ahead of Thursday’s Bank of England interest rate announcement. Economists are predicting that the Central Bank will choose to maintain interest rates at 0.5% and quantitative easing will be held at £375 billion.

US Dollar

The US Dollar weakened against a number of peers after demand for the safe haven currency’s softened as tensions eased in Ukraine. Russian President Putin said that Moscow reserved the right to use force in Ukraine’s Crimea region in the event of “lawlessness” but added that such a move would be a last resort. The currency is likely to experience volatility late in the session due to the release of jobs and ISM non-manufacturing PMI data.

The Euro

The Euro is little moved ahead of the release of Eurozone retail sales and GDP growth rate reports. Economists are expecting the regions economy to have expanded by 0.3% on a quarter to quarter basis. If the figure disappoints then we can expect to see the Euro weaken as pressure will increase on the ECB to introduce new stimulus measures in an effort to support the economy. Tomorrow sees the ECB announce its latest interest rate decision and hold a press conference.

Australian Dollar

The ‘Aussie’ made gains against all of its major peers after data showed that the nation’s economy expanded more than forecast. GDP expanded by 0.8% in the final quarter of 2013, exceeding expectations for an expansion of 0.7%.

New Zealand Dollar

The New Zealand Dollar made gains as risk sentiment improved. The currency was under pressure however from the release of government data which showed that local construction activity fell by 1% in the fourth quarter of last year. Dairy prices fell by 4% also weighing upon the ‘Kiwi’.

Canadian Dollar

The Canadian dollar advanced on Wednesday morning as risk appetite improved somewhat amid an easing of tensions in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. With a lack of domestic data the currency will be vulnerable to data releases from the United States and Europe.

South African Rand

The Rand gained more than 1% against the Dollar yesterday after being buoyed by abating investor aversion towards emerging markets after immediate tensions between Russia and Ukraine appeared to ease. The currency also made support from hopes that there could be a breakthrough in the ongoing strike in the platinum mining sector. The AMCU trade union revised its wage demands raising hopes that the five-week long strike could be close to an end.

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