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Posted July 18th, 2011 by Charles Purdy

EUR/GBP Rate & Comments for 18th July 2011

EURO/GBP - 1.1459

Sterling rose to a 1 ½ month high against the euro this morning, touching €1.1478/£1 as a lack of confidence in the euro saw it lose ground across the board. It was a quiet end to the week in terms of data for the UK, which meant that markets were squarely focussed on the results of European bank ‘stress tests’ on Friday. Investors were not impressed with the results – mainly because they did not adequately address the issue on everybody’s mind; that of sovereign default. Confidence fell and sterling made gains. With risk aversion and uncertainty prevalent in global markets, there are several key pieces of UK data this week that could see exchange rate volatility. Wednesday’s MPC minutes will help investors to gauge UK monetary outlook. There are also public borrowing and retail sales figures released on Thursday so call in now for a live exchange rate.

In the euro zone, the sovereign debt crisis hit new depths last week with European Finance ministers failing to reach agreement yet again on a debt restructuring for Greece. Italy came under pressure last week too, with a run on the country’s bonds leaving yields increasingly higher. Whilst only 8 European banks failed the stress tests, investors felt that the tests did not go into sufficient depth to uncover relevant issues. This has seen the euro lose ground against its counterparts this morning. Out this week, there is key PMI data and business survey figures but these are likely to be overshadowed by sovereign debt concerns.

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