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Posted November 24th, 2010 by Charles Purdy

USD/GBP Rate & Comments for 24th November 2010

US$/GBP 1.5775

Sterling hit a 2 month high against the euro yesterday of €1.1836/£1 as fears that the debt crisis could spread left investors selling the euro. The risk of ‘contagion’ (i.e. other countries in the region joining Ireland and Greece in needing a bailout) saw a resurgence in ‘risk aversion’ where investors look to buy safe haven assets and avoid losing money. As a result, sterling lost out to the US dollar, slipping to the lowest level in nearly 4 weeks as fears over European debt and also the North Korean shelling of South Korea left many investors running to US bonds – traditionally the safest asset globally. In terms of data, mortgage approvals came in roughly as expected, with the big news out tomorrow in the form of the revised GDP figures for the 3rd Quarter. The initial estimate showed 0.8% growth when it was released a few weeks ago, which was better than expected. Any change to this number is likely to see volatility so call in now for a live exchange rate.
In the USA, the debt crisis in Ireland saw investors flocking to the US dollar as an investment. In addition, breaking news throughout the day showed that North Korea had launched an artillery attack on a South Korean island. The threat of conflict left investors spooked and saw the US dollar gain by 3.5% against the South Korean won. US GDP was revised upwards from 2.3% to 2.5% which also helped. Out today there is US unemployment claims figures and new home sales figures so get in touch now to prevent market movements impacting your payments.

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