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US Dollar makes a comeback

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Pound Sterling

The Pound weakened for a second day against the Euro as investors awaited the release of the latest UK GDP data. Economists are expecting the data to show that the UK’s economy contracted in the last quarter of 2012. GDP came in at the predicted level of -0.3%.

Against the US Dollar, Sterling is hovering close to its lowest level in two-and-a- half years.

US Dollar

The ‘Greenback’ extended its gains against the Japanese Yen and pared its losses against the Euro due to the release of a slew of economic data yesterday. Consumer confidence exceeded economist expectations by rising to 69.6, and new home sales soared to their highest level since July 2008. The currency was also supported by comments made by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke who defended the US Central Bank’s stimulus measures.

The Euro

The Euro has strengthened for the first time in three days since falling to a seven-week low against the Dollar. The currency had been dragged downwards by concerns over the outcome of the Italian elections. It then received some respite after the market didn't suffer further capitulation in Italian bonds, which are due to be sold later today. If the sale goes well the Euro could recover some more of its losses.

Australian Dollar

The ‘Aussie’ is holding at its weakest level for more than four-months due to the continuing lack of demand for riskier assets. Risk aversion remains high as the market continues to digest the Italian election result.

New Zealand Dollar

The ‘Kiwi’ weakened overnight after speculators who had been betting on further rises in the currency sold their New Zealand Dollars. The currency fell to its weakest level since the New Year as a result. Weak demand for riskier assets and a widening of the nation’s trade deficit also weighed on the currency.

Canadian Dollar

The ‘Loonie’ weakened slightly against its US relation after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told congress that he supports the Fed’s money policies. The Canadian currency is also suffering the effects of the outcome of the Italian election as risk appetite remains low.

South African Rand

The Rand has weakened against the US Dollar ahead of South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s speech that is expected to outline plans for the government to cut its spending deficit. Domestic GDP statistics released on Tuesday showed surprisingly strong economic growth of 2.1% for the fourth quarter of 2012 from 1.2% in the third quarter, due to a boost from the manufacturing and farm sectors. Despite the positive figures the weaker Euro is continuing to weigh down on the Rand.

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