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UK economy downgraded by the IMF

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Pound Sterling

The Pound fell to a one-month low against the Dollar before recovering some ground as riskier currencies continue to be under pressure. With the outlook for the UK economy being downgraded to -0.4% by the International Monetary Fund the Pound is set to stay subdued for the near term. The IMF’s report is backed by the latest economic data releases showing that the UK construction sector is still contracting and the all important services sector is growing more slowly than expected. The Pound managed to reverse some of its losses after the riskier currencies saw some support from the strong US jobs report.

US Dollar

The ‘Greenback’ continues to make gains against the Euro and a basket of currencies. The Dollar has been bolstered by demand for safe haven currencies after the markets grow increasingly worried about the health of the global economy. The IMF has downgraded the economic projections for a number of key nations adding to the sense of fear. The Dollar is still benefitting from last week’s jobs report which showed that unemployment in the world’s largest economy has fallen below the 8% mark for the first time in four years. The data soothed investor nerves over the state of the country’s economy.

The Euro

Uncertainty over whether Spain will request a sovereign bailout has caused the Euro to fall from its two-week high. Investor hopes that the situation would be resolved soon have all but faded as Spain’s government continues to insist that the country does not need a bailout. Continued uncertainty over Greece has once more come to the forefront of the market’s minds and with no end in sight the situation continues to drag on in the single currency. The markets appear to have ignored the launch of the ESM scheme as confidence that the scheme will have the necessary firepower to and the crisis weakens.

Australian Dollar

The ‘Aussie’ has rallied from the three-month low it touched yesterday after Europe’s finance ministers launched the Eurozone permanent aid fund. Gains in commodity prices also gave the currency a much needed boost. The ‘Aussie’ climbed against its US counterpart following last week’s slide. Prices for Iron ore, Australia’s main export, have risen to its highest level in more than a month.

New Zealand Dollar

The ‘Kiwi’ has strengthened against the US Dollar amid hopes that the Chinese government is planning to boost its stimulus policies to stop the slowdown in the country. The currency’s improvement was tempered however after a report showed that the value of transactions done via electronic cards fell 0.6% in September. The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research has said economic growth is set to slow in the second half of the year as local business sentiment got gloomier in the third quarter in a deteriorating trading environment.

Canadian Dollar

Data for the currency is fairly limited following yesterday’s national holiday of thanksgiving. The ‘Loonie’ extended yesterday’s gains by moving upwards against the Euro and US Dollar and advanced to a fresh multi-day high of 1.2656 versus the Euro, compared to last week's closing value of 1.2761.

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