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Pound Sterling

The Pound weakened modestly against the Euro this morning as data compiled by the British Retail Consortium showed that UK retail sales dipped last month, falling 2.2 per cent from a year earlier despite economists’ expectations for a 1.9 per cent increase. The British currency was little changed against the US Dollar. Separate data revealed that UK house prices exceeded economists’ predictions by rising 1.1 per cent. Sterling fluctuations may be limited today as investors look ahead to tomorrow’s influential Bank of England rate decision. The British central bank is largely expected to hold its benchmark rate at the current level of 0.50 per cent, but the tone of the accompanying statement will be of interest.

US Dollar

The US Dollar lost ground against the Euro during the European session after the common currency was boosted by stronger-than-anticipated German factory order figures. The ‘Greenback’ also declined against several of its other higher-risk peers as better-than-forecast Chinese data boosted risk appetite. A lack of volatile US news could limit US Dollar movement today, but data from the Eurozone could have an impact on the safe-haven currency.

The Euro

Yesterday’s better-than-forecast German factory order data boosted the prospects of the Eurozone’s largest economy and allowed the Euro to gain on its rivals yesterday. However, in the intervening hours Euro demand has been limited by the expectation that today’s German Industrial Production figures, due out at 11:00 GMT, will show contraction.

Australian Dollar

After the Reserve Bank of Australia issued a 0.25 basis point rate cut the ‘Aussie’ posted widespread declines, notably falling against rivals including the US and New Zealand Dollars. But the currency enjoyed a modest rebound after China’s imports were shown to have grown by more than expected. Further Australian Dollar movement can be expected to follow tomorrow’s Australian employment data, although economists are forecasting that the nation’s unemployment rate will hold at 5.6 per cent.

New Zealand Dollar

The New Zealand Dollar was able to gain on its Australian currency rival yesterday after the RBA slashed its benchmark rate. However, during local trade the ‘Kiwi’ fell to a five-week low against the US Dollar as RBNZ Governor Graeme Wheeler stated that the central bank had sold the South Pacific currency. The next notable piece of domestic data, New Zealand’s unemployment rate, is scheduled for publication at 23:45 GMT. Industry experts have predicted that unemployment will ease from 6.9 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2012 to 6.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2013.

Canadian Dollar

The ‘Loonie’ was able to consolidate recent gains during local trade as better-than-expected German and Chinese news pushed investors towards higher-risk assets. The commodity-driven currency may experience fluctuations in the hours ahead following the release of Canadian housing starts figures for April, estimated to come in at 175,000.