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Unemployment in the Eurozone hits record high

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Pound Sterling

The Pound is close to an 11-week high against the US Dollar but has lost some ground after data showed that U.K house prices declined in April. Economists had been expecting prices to rise by 0.3%, instead they declined by -0.1%. On a year-by-year basis, house prices improved by 0.9%. Economists had expected the data to show a 1.3% improvement.

The latest Purchasing Manager Index for Manufacturing is due later in the day and is expected to come in at 48.5, a slight improvement on the previous month. Any figure below 50 marks a contraction. If the data comes in worse-than-expected then we can expect Sterling to fall against the US Dollar.

US Dollar

The ‘Greenback’ fell for a fifth day against the majority of its peers, its longest losing streak since September 2012, due to rising speculation that the Federal Reserve won’t slacken its bond buying programme as long as the economy continues to show signs of weakening. Today’s job data is expected to show that U.S private employers added the lowest number of new jobs for six months.

The Euro

The Euro made gains against its peers after the Cypriot parliament voted through its controversial bailout. Lawmakers approved the terms for the €10 billion bailout with only a razor-thin majority of just two votes. The result calmed market nerves over a possible rejection of the plan. The currency remains under pressure however following yesterday’s data that showed that unemployment across the Eurozone hit a new record high of 12.1%

Australian Dollar

The ‘Aussie’ has maintained its two-day gain against the US Dollar as speculation mounts that the Federal Reserve will affirm its commitment to its quantitative easing programme. The currency found support after China posted data that showed that factory output in the world’s second largest economy increased for a seventh-straight month.

New Zealand Dollar

The ‘Kiwi’ stayed close to a two-week high against the US Dollar after Chinese manufacturing figures weren't as bad as investors feared, and ahead of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy meeting where it's expected to hold firm on its low interest rates and money printing programme.

Canadian Dollar

The ‘Loonie’ reached its strongest level since February after the nation’s economy grew at a faster than expected rate and as speculation increases that the Federal Reserve will choose to maintain its monetary stimulus programme. The country’s GDP increased by 0.3% in February, putting the country on course for its fastest quarterly growth since 2011.

South African Rand

The Rand edged upwards against the US Dollar yesterday after South Africa’s latest trade data showed that the nation’s trade deficit narrowed more-than-expected to 7.77 billion Rand.

This is a Sent money home currency update from Neil Thurlwell from Sendmoneyhome.co.uk