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Posted February 27th, 2013 by Charles Purdy

The Italian elections continue to worry markets | Smart Daily Currency Note

GBP/USD – 1.5114

Sterling had a mixed day yesterday – starting off on the front foot reaching highs of 1.1650 against the euro and 1.5220 against the US dollar before losing ground later in the day. Sterling struggled after one of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) members from the Bank of England (BoE) suggested he was open to more monetary easing and furthermore, that the prospect of negative interest rates had been raised at central bank meetings. Furthermore, realised sales data from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) came out lower than expected. Out today we have the second estimate of the UK’s fourth quarter GDP which is expected to show a contraction of 0.3%, the same as the first estimate. Moreover, more MPC members will be speaking today, and following yesterday’s volatility, the market will pay close attention to what they have to say. Call now for the latest updates on sterling.

The US dollar generally performed well yesterday, strengthening against the majority of its currency partners with Consumer Confidence figures and New Home Sales data (rising in January to the highest since 2008) both coming out much better than expected. Along with this, the Federal Reserve Chairman backed the central bank’s current stimulus program, saying that they will support the asset purchases with “little risk of inflation or asset-price bubbles” causing the dollar to strengthen further. In the testimony he stated that “We do not see the potential costs of the increased risk-taking in some financial markets as outweighing the benefits of promoting a stronger economic recovery.” Although he also warned that the automatic federal budget cuts in line to begin 1st of March will add a “significant” burden to the economy if lawmakers are unable to avert from the reductions. Today we will see Core Durable Goods orders along with the second part of the Chairman of the Federal Bank’s “congressional testimony” on monetary policy.

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