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US economy showing signs of slowing down

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Pound Sterling

The Pound has weakened for a third-day against the Euro due to the market awaiting the release of the Bank of England’s minutes for February’s policy meeting. Against the US Dollar, Sterling is little changed. Today also sees the release of the latest jobless claims figures which are expected to show a decline of 5,500. If the figure comes in worse-than-expected then the Pound could weaken.

US Dollar

The ‘Greenback’ weakened against the Euro due to signs that the US economy is slowing down. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. revealed that February has been the worst start to a month for sales in seven years. Economists are concerned that the news could be the first sign that US consumer spending has cooled as households struggle to cope with tax rises.

The Euro

The Euro has strengthened for a second-day against the Dollar ahead of the release of data that economists are expecting will show that consumer confidence rose in the Eurozone. The European Commission is expected to say that its index of consumer confidence has improved to -23.2 for February from -23.9 in January. A better-than-expected figure could strengthen the Euro further.

Australian Dollar

The ‘Aussie’ has strengthened against all but one of its 16 most-traded after the Reserve Bank of Australia’s latest minutes release lowered expectations that it would be lowering the nation’s interest rate anytime soon.

New Zealand Dollar

The ‘Kiwi’ has weakened after New Zealand Central Bank governor Graeme Wheeler said that he was ready to intervene in the foreign exchange markets in a bid to weaken the ‘Kiwi’. The comments have raised the prospect of a currency war after a number of nations ranging from Brazil to South Korea warned that their currencies were too strong.

Canadian Dollar

The ‘Loonie’ weakened to its lowest level in seven-months against the US Dollar after policy makers in the USA try to avoid budget cuts, known as sequestration, which are due to begin next month. The currency was also weakened by a fall in Crude oil prices.

South African Rand

The Rand is trading steadily against the US Dollar and could find further support throughout the day after protesting mine workers return to work and investor fears over a new bout of violence are lessened. Miners returned to work after yesterday’s mass walkout over an incident on Monday that saw several miners wounded by security forces.

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