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Currency update from

Pound Sterling

The Pound is little changed against the Euro and the US Dollar as the market awaits the release of a report that is expected to show that construction in the UK contracted for a fifth consecutive month in March. Earlier, Sterling fell to a two-week low against the US currency as a separate report showed that UK shop-price inflation increased last month.

Today’s construction PMI is expected to come in at 48 for March an improvement on February’s figure of 46.8. Any figure below 50 indicates a contraction.

US Dollar

The ‘Greenback’ has strengthened against most of its peers after being boosted by solid economic data in the US and a weak outlook for overseas economies. The Dollar’s gains were caused by a US Commerce Department report showing that new orders for manufactured goods rose by 3% in February, beating economist expectations. The currency was also supported by strong car sales.

The Euro

The Euro has weakened for a second-day against the US Dollar due to speculation that the European Central Bank will use tomorrow’s policy meeting to signal that it may be considering new economic stimulus measures. The currency fell against all except one of its 16 major counterparts as the Eurozone continues to suffer from high unemployment and disappointing PMI data.

Australian Dollar

The ‘Aussie’ strengthened against a basket of currencies due to better-than-expected trade data but failed to maintain those gains as the market’s attention focuses on a number of upcoming Central Bank meetings. The ECB and Bank of Japan as well as the Bank of England are due to hold policy meetings over the coming days. The nation’s trade deficit narrowed to $178 million in February compared with a deficit of $1.2 billion in January.

New Zealand Dollar

The ‘Kiwi’ is maintaining yesterday’s gains against the Euro and Sterling as investors await the outcome of Central Bank meetings in Europe, Japan and the UK.

Canadian Dollar

The ‘Loonie’ is maintaining the five-week high it reached against the US Dollar yesterday. The rise came after Chinese data showed solid growth for the world’s biggest consumer of metals and energy leading to support for commodity based economies such as Canada. The currency is also being supported by expectations that Canadian employers have added 6,500 to payrolls in March continuing the positive jobs trend after the surge seen in February.

South African Rand

The Rand steadied against the US Dollar after suffering from a bout of weakness following yesterday’s disappointing factory data that reinforced South Africa’s gloomy economic outlook. The data is the latest sign of an economy struggling to return to the 5% growth levels enjoyed before a 2009 recession.

Currency update from

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