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Pound Sterling

The Pound has weakened for a second day against the US Dollar, falling to its lowest level in six- months due to the UK preparing to sell £4 billion of five-year government securities. Sterling wasn’t helped by comments made by Bank of England Governor Mervyn King who said that growth in the UK economy will be weak and that the nation faces big challenges.

Against the Euro the Pound recovered some strength due to disappointing jobs data out of Portugal and a surprise contraction of the German economy.

US Dollar

The ‘Greenback’ has strengthened against the Pound and Euro. Disappointing economic data emerging from the single currency region and the UK’s continuing poor economic performance increased demand for safe-haven assets.

The Euro

The Euro fell against most of its major peers as Portuguese unemployment rose to its highest level since the Euro’s conception. The struggling nation’s jobless rate increased to 16.9% from 15.8% in the third quarter. The single currency was also not helped by the worse-than-expected contraction of the German economy. It contracted by 0.6% in the last quarter of 2012.

Australian Dollar

The ‘Aussie’ rallied to a one-week high as the markets continued to react positively to a rise in domestic consumer confidence. The currency strengthened against the Pound after the Bank of England predicted a sluggish recovery for the UK economy.

New Zealand Dollar

The ‘Kiwi’ strengthened to its highest level in two and a half years against the Australian Dollar due to an expansion in manufacturing in the smaller nation boosting prospects that the Reserve Bank will raise interest rates.

Canadian Dollar

The ‘Loonie’ is trading just below parity with the US Dollar and reached a five-month high against the British Pound. A lack of Canadian data should see the currency have a fairly quiet day; any movement will likely be a result of data from the USA and Europe.

South African Rand

The Rand is holding steady against the US Dollar due to the market waiting for the release of the latest mining data and President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation address.

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