Mixed fortunes for sterling | 26/07/2013
After maintaining an upward trajectory for most of last week, sterling experienced more mixed fortunes this week. The pound performed well from Monday as Prime Minister David Cameron announced that improving economic conditions may allow the Coalition Government to implement tax cuts in the near future. Varying levels of trader optimism were seen in the run up to the release of UK GDP figures, which came out yesterday and revealed that the UK economy grew by 0.6% in the second quarter. These figures largely conformed to key predictions, however the possibility still remains that the Monetary Policy Committee may vote in favour of further quantitative easing when they meet again in August and the figures did little to play down that possibility, causing sterling to drop sharply against the majority of its major peers. Additionally, revisions of previous GDP figures revealed that recession in the UK was in fact worse than first thought, which further contributed to sterling weakness. Overall, sterling has certainly plateaued to a degree after performing well last week and we will need to see further strong economic data coming from the UK to maintain hopes of a sustainable recovery, persuade investors that the Monetary Policy Committee will not loosen monetary policy in August. If they do it would weaken the pound. There is little data of note being released today, but further movement may be seen as traders take stock of the GDP data and react to on-going speculation regarding future increases in quantitative easing. Call your trader now to track sterling performance.
EURO/GBP – 1.207
US$/GBP – 1.442
CHF/GBP – 1.680
CAN$/GBP – 1.534
AUS$/GBP – 1.771
Sterling fell on Friday against the US dollar but hit a 1 ½ year high against the euro as a worse than expected rise in US employment figures pointed towards a slower than expected US recovery. With Europe in the midst of a debt crisis and China looking to curb spiralling growth, many analysts were hoping that the USA could provide the driving engine of a global recovery. However, with the number of new jobs falling 100,000 short of what was expected, many analysts feel that this opens the door to a double dip recession and fresh round of risk aversion and a flight to US dollar denominated assets. Over the weekend, news was released that David Cameron is to state that the UK economy is in a far worse state than he had initially thought. With £6bn worth of cuts already announced, this is a drop in the ocean compared to the £156bn deficit. Following the Prime Minister’s statement later today, expect some volatility on the currency markets. In terms of data, there is little out aside from some yearly retail sales data. Ensure you do not lose out. Get in touch now for a live exchange rate.
In the euro zone, the region continues to suffer from poor sentiment related to the debt crisis and the euro fell to the lowest level for 4 years against the US dollar last week, dipping below $1.20/ 1. The single currency is also at the lowest level since 2001 against the Japanese yen. One survey of economists in the Daily Telegraph over the weekend suggested that the euro would be ‘dead’ within 5 years – or at the very least, certain countries would start pulling out of the currency as and when they default on loans. Out later today, there is German factory data which is expected to show a mild decline. Call in now for a live price.
In the USA, following Friday’s disappointing jobs report, the US dollar and Japanese yen have both strengthened as investors look for safe haven assets to invest in. With fears of a double dip recession – where growth turns negative after a period of recovery – the US dollar again looks set to take on the role of risk sentiment indicator. Therefore, any negative news in the UK will see sterling fall against the US dollar. In addition, perversely, any strong data for the USA will have the same effect. Call in now for a live exchange rate.
Elsewhere, the pound has strengthened marginally against the Australian dollar and other ‘commodity currencies’ this morning, as risk aversion sees traders move from ‘riskier’ investments in those countries and back into safer sterling/ US dollar assets. It might be an advisable time to look at taking advantage of the improved rate if you have payments to make. Call in now to speak to a trader and make sure you don’t miss out.
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