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US Dollar tumbles after disappointing economic data

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Foreign exchange update

US Dollar

The US Dollar weakened yesterday after a report showed that manufacturing output declined sharply in New York State. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York its general economic index declined to 4.48 this month, down from the 12.5 recorded in January. The sharp decline was also well below economist expectations for a decrease to 8.5. The currency could regain ground later in the session if housing data comes in positively and if the Federal Reserve’s minutes for its January meeting show that it is committed to continuing with tapering its easing programme.

Pound Sterling

The Pound halted its two day run of losses against the US Dollar and Euro as investors await the publication of the latest minutes of the Bank of England’s February policy meeting. Other data due out today is likely to offer support to the currency. Unemployment in the UK is expected to have held steady at 7.1% and the number of people claiming unemployment benefit is expected to have fallen in January.

The Euro

The Euro is trading at a seven-week high against the US Dollar due to the publication of the latest in a string of disappointing US economic data. The Euro is likely to edge higher later in the session if a construction output report comes in stronger than forecast.

Australian Dollar

The ‘Aussie’ fell for the first time in four days due to a fall in Asian stocks which reduced demand for higher yielding assets. Investors are also nervous that tomorrow’s data due to be released by China will show that manufacturing in the world’s second largest economy contracted this month. Declines were limited by the release of some positive data which showed that wages in Australia rose in the fourth quarter of last year.

New Zealand Dollar

The New Zealand Dollar moved higher against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday, as Tuesday's disappointing U.S. data continued to weigh on demand for the ‘Greenback’, investors will be watching the minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting.

Canadian Dollar

The Canadian Dollar made gains against the US Dollar due to the bigger American economy posting the latest in a string of disappointing data releases. Against the Pound the ‘Loonie’ was little moved. Investors are now looking ahead to Friday when the latest inflation data for Canada is released.

South African Rand

The Rand is holding steady against the US Dollar and other peers as investors await the release of January’s consumer price inflation data. Economists are expecting inflation to have accelerated, if that is the case then the Rand is likely to make gains.