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Today's US sales data expected to influence the markets

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Foreign currency update

Pound Sterling

The Pound has weakened against the Euro and fallen against many of its most traded peers as the market waits for the UK debt management office to sell off £2.25 billion of government debt maturing in 2032. Yesterday Sterling came close to a three-week high against the single currency after data showed that unemployment in the UK declined more in May than economists had been expecting. Today is light on data releases for the Pound so any movements will be as a result of other factors, the biggest being the release of US retail sales data after midday.

US Dollar

The ‘Greenback’ has weakened against the Japanese Yen, slumping to its lowest level in two months as investors choose the safe haven Yen as the World Bank lowered its global growth forecast. The impact of the Japanese central bank's decision to hold the policy unchanged on Tuesday, rather than adding more stimuli, continues to reverberate through the markets.

Ongoing uncertainty over whether the Federal Reserve will choose to scale back its monetary easing programme has also weighed upon the Dollar. The release of the latest US retail sales data could give the markets a firmer direction on the Fed’s decision.

The Euro

The Euro has reversed some of its losses and is holding steady against the US Dollar after the single currency found support from a better-than-expected 0.4% gain in Eurozone industrial production in April. The increase marked the third monthly increase running and was "significantly better" than the consensus forecast for no change.

Australian Dollar

The ‘Aussie’ continued its decline against the US Dollar after rallying following the release of a report that showed that Australia’s unemployment rate was lower than expected in May. The currency resumed its downward trajectory as the figures failed to alter investor predictions that the Reserve Bank of Australia will make further interest rate cuts in July.

New Zealand Dollar

The ‘Kiwi’ weakened against its peers after the Reserve Bank kept its official cash rate unchanged at the record low level of 2.5%. Volatility on the markets has caused investors to seek safety in the safe haven currencies.

Canadian Dollar

The ‘Loonie’ is close to a four-week high against the US Dollar ahead of the release of the latest US retail sales data. Economists are expecting the data to show an improvement which will be good for the Canadian economy. The US is Canada’s biggest trading partner so any improvement in the US economy is beneficial for the ‘Loonie’.

South African Rand

The Rand has see-sawed in early trading as investors refrain from making aggressive bets due to uncertainty over the US bond buying programme and the weak outlook for the domestic economy.

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