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The pound rises as UK unemployment decreases

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Pound Sterling

The Pound has weakened against the Euro due to yesterday’s speech by British Prime Minister David Cameron. The PM pledged to reform the UK’s role within the European Union promising to hold a national referendum on the country’s continued membership if his conservative party wins the next general election.
Against the US Dollar the Pound strengthened slightly due to the latest unemployment benefit figures showing a decrease in the number of people out of work. As a result the Bank of England decided not to increase the amount of monetary easing.

US Dollar

The ‘Greenback’ took losses against most of its higher yielding rivals due to the release of better-than-expected British unemployment data. The data led to risk taking on the markets which gave a boost to perceived riskier currencies.

Today, the main piece of US news is likely to be the Unemployment Claims figure. Analysts expect the indicator to come in slightly higher than last week, which if true, may be a sign that the employment situation in the US is worsening and result in losses for the greenback during afternoon trading.

The Euro

The Euro made gains against most of its rivals yesterday, after positive British employment data led to risk taking in the marketplace. The single currency is set to rise further after the Preliminary German PMI Manufacturing showed that the Eurozone’s biggest economy posted an improvement in its manufacturing sector.
Output rose to 48.8 in January, up from 46 in December. Economists had been expecting a rise of 46.8. PMI Services grew to 55.3 points in January, following a 52 point reading the previous month and above expectations of remaining at the same level.

Australian Dollar

The ‘Aussie’ weakened against most of its 16 most-traded rivals due to a decline in commodities. The fall came after the International Monetary Fund lowered its estimate for global economic growth. Australia’s latest consumer price index showed an increase of 0.2%, less than the 0.4% forecast by economists.

New Zealand Dollar

The ‘Kiwi’ strengthened against most of its peers after the small nations manufacturing PMI increased to 50.1, signalling growth. The New Zealand currency was also boosted by news that Chinese manufacturing expanded at its fastest pace in two years which led to a brightening in the outlook for commodity based currencies.

Canadian Dollar

The ‘Loonie’ is trading close to parity with its US relation after the Bank of Canada said that the need to raise interest rates is not urgent. The currency had slumped to a two-month low after the Bank cut its prediction for growth to 2% instead of the October prediction of 2.3%.

South African Rand

The Rand has slipped to its lowest level in nearly four years against the US Dollar due to investors increasing concerns over the political risks emerging from the spate of labour unrest and rioting that has damaged the nation’s economy. As a result the Rand tumbled below the psychologically important R9.0 and further losses are expected.

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