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Ukrainian tensions help USD regain some ground

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US Dollar

The US Dollar regained some ground against its peers as demand for safe haven assets received a boost from disappointing data out of China and as tensions in Ukraine increased over the weekend. The weekend saw thousands of Ukrainians take to the streets in both anti and pro Russian rallies, in Sevastopol violence occurred when pro-Russians attacked their opponents. Demands for Russian troops to leave Crimea have been ignored, raising the possibility of an armed conflict to oust them.

Pound Sterling

The Pound was weaker against a number of peers due to concerns over a currency manipulation scandal. Bank of England governor Mark Carney is due to face lawmakers tomorrow after the BOE suspended an employee and released minutes of meetings which showed that Bank officials knew that the exchange market was being rigged. Losses were limited however due to the release of a report by the British Chambers of Commerce which says that the UK economy will reach a pre-recession peak by the summer. In upgraded forecasts, it estimates economic growth will be 2.8% this year - up from its earlier estimate of 2.7%.

The Euro

The Euro remains supported by last week’s decision by the European Central Bank to leave interest rates and stimulus measures unchanged. The currency rose to multi-month and multi-year highs against its peers.

Australian Dollar

The ‘Aussie’ fell against most of its major peers after it was weighed upon by weak data out of China and Japan. Data released over the weekend showed that Chinese exports tumbled by 18.1% on a yearly basis, surprising economists who had been expecting a rise of 6.8%. The annual rate of inflation in Australia’s biggest trading partner also slowed.

New Zealand Dollar

The New Zealand Dollar followed its ‘Aussie’ relation downwards against its peers following the release of the disappointing Chinese data. The currency was also weighed upon the reduction in risk sentiment as a result of tensions in Ukraine.

Canadian Dollar

The Canadian Dollar is weaker against its US relation and down against most of its major peers as risk sentiment suffered as a result of concerns that the Chinese economy is slowing down. The currency was also under pressure from last week’s disappointing jobs data.

South African Rand

The Rand weakened against the US Dollar and starts a data-heavy week on the back foot as emerging market currencies were depressed by concerns of an economic slowdown in China. The biggest piece of data investors should be aware of is this week’s current account data due on Wednesday. A disappointing figure is sure to send the Rand tumbling.