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John from Moneycorp

Major Currencies - Key Points This Week

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Please find below a brief roundup of this week major currencies.

EUR: Rumours and stories of a new and conclusive solution to the Euroland debt crisis came thick and fast: The new Spanish austerity package would make the Spartans look like Barbra Cartland; the jointly-guaranteed "eurobond" project would be revived; the IMF would lend €600bn to Italy. None turned out to be true but collectively they supported the euro. Nevertheless, investors are increasingly reluctant to lend their hard-earned to Euroland governments. They need serious action to stabilise the situation and they need it now.

USD: The failure of a Congressional "supercommittee" to agree on a deficit-reduction programme has not put off investors in US Treasury bills and bonds. They can live with the stalemate because they know America will always repay its debts; it can print as many dollars as it needs. The same is not true of euro zone governments, none of which has the same printing power. Greece or Italy could default; the US cannot.

AUD: An almost total lack of Australian economic data left the Aussie to wander around in the unlikely company of the Swiss franc and Japanese yen. They were accompanied by the Canadian dollar, which also had no place of its own to go. The commodity currencies received a boost early this Monday after the report that the IMF would hand over €600bn to cover Italy's refinancing needs for the next year. It was enough to turn a losing week into a winning one for the Aussie.

NZD: Like the AUD, the NZD found itself in the middle of the field after a strange week in which market liquidity was drained by the US holiday and investor's appetite to get involved was hampered by their lack of conviction, especially with regard to the euro. The NZ dollar's big break came this Monday morning when Prime Minister John Key's National Party won the general election by a street. Investors think he will deliver free markets and a balanced budget.

CAD: The Loonie kept company with its antipodean cousins, neither shining nor sinking in mid-league. A 1.0% monthly increase for retail sales in September was twice as strong as expected and therefore positive for the currency, but it served more to nudge than to drive its direction. Had it not been for the Keys election win in New Zealand the Canadian dollar would have come through the week as the commodity currencies' leader.

GBP: Sterling was far from successful in the week's currency lottery, sharing penultimate place with the South African rand. It did nothing wrong; the UK economic statistics were mostly in line with or better than expectations. The problem was that investors seemed more inclined to buy the euro on good news than sell it on bad. Because they were buying US dollars anyway the pound got the rough end of the stick.

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Hi all – please find the latest currency updates below, thanks.

AUD: The Aussie was stuck in the lower reaches of the league table, depressed by investors' preference for safety over adventure. As with the other commodity currencies it was mainly uncertainty about Euroland that drove that cautious attitude, but the Australian news did not help. Unemployment ticked up to 5.3% and the Reserve Bank of Australia cut its benchmark interest rate for a second successive month, hinting as it did so that there could be more cuts to come.

 

EUR: Apparently uninhibited by Britain's veto of a full treaty, EU leaders announced their fifth full and final solution to the Euroland debt crisis on Friday morning. As a long-term strategy for prudent fiscal management it looked alright. However on Friday, and even after a weekend's reflection, investors could not figure out how it would solve the immediate problems of an over-leveraged southern Europe and citizens who are already suffering from austerity-fatigue. The euro is still at risk.

 

USD: Before the EU summit investors were standing back from the euro. In a quiet, thoughtful way they were inclined to opt for the safety of the US dollar or the Japanese yen. After the summit delivered Plan E they remained disinclined to rush back and embrace the euro. Although there was little evidence of it in last week's data, the US economy still shows more potential than a Europe held back by its growing addiction too sackcloth and ashes.

 

CAD: There was a bit of excitement for the Canadian dollar on Tuesday after reports that building permits had risen strongly and that the manufacturing sector was continuing to grow. The Bank of Canada sealed a good day for the Loonie when it kept its benchmark interest rate steady at 1%, warning there could be an upward move for rates before too long. The good news was not enough to prevent the Canadian dollar suffering with its commodity-oriented peer group as a result of Euroland worries.

 

GBP: Weak UK data for house prices, retail sales and industrial production were offset by a narrowing of the trade deficit and a bullish survey of the services sector, which grew more quickly in November than Euroland or the States. There was a sharp intake of breath from sterling on Friday morning after the prime minister, in a minority of one, vetoed a new EU treaty. So far though, there has been no backlash from investors.

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The Australian dollar is weaker as negativity returns concerning the eurozone debt crisis.

Recently the dollar has been following the movements of the euro and any news from that region is having an impact on the strength/weakness of the Aussie.

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Hi everyone – please find the latest currency updates below, thanks.

AUD: Over the last 12 months the average daily price for GBP/AUD has been 1.5523. This morning it was trading within half a cent of that level. In other words it has gone nowhere in a year. Investors currently worry that it will go backwards in coming months as the result of widely-predicted recession in Europe. However, it is impossible to rule out the possibility of another year of stability.

NZD: Like the Australian dollar, the NZ dollar's progress is being held back by the fear of an economic slowdown in Europe that could put a brake on global growth. Also like the Aussie, the Kiwi has gone almost nowhere in the last 12 months. The average daily price of 2.0253 for GBP/NZD is only a cent adrift from the current trading level. Whether or not nothing happens in the next 12 months either remains to be seen, it is not impossible to imagine.

CAD: The Loonie has fallen by 2.5% against sterling in the last 12 months but has gone almost nowhere in the last two years. The GBP/CAD exchange rate has averaged 1.5901 over that period; today it was trading scarcely more than a cent away from that level at 1.6030. Although history can provide no sure guide to the future, it is possible that another 12 months of stability could be on the cards.

EUR: Whilst it would be premature to brand the latest EU agreement a failure, it has failed to convince investors that a resolution to Euroland's sovereign debt crisis is at hand. The European Central Bank refuses to buy government bonds on the scale necessary to support them. Instead, it is printing money for the use of commercial banks, which can now borrow as much as they want for three years. The ECB hopes they will use it to buy government bonds but there is no guarantee they will.

USD: The dollar did better than sterling over the last seven days but not by much, hardly more than half a cent. More intriguingly, and contrary to the popular perception, the net movement of sterling/dollar over the past 12 months is as close to zero as makes no difference. Both countries have a problem with over-indebtedness but both also enjoy a triple-A credit rating and have control over their own currencies. For the moment, investors are comfortable with them both as safe havens.

GBP: Sterling was the week's third best-performing currency behind the US dollar and the yen. With euro zone countries under threat of downgrades to their credit ratings, the pound's triple-A status gives it almost safe-haven status. Its performance over the last 12 months adds weight to that notion: Compared with its level against the US dollar a year ago the pound has moved less than quarter of a cent. There is no guarantee that stability will persist but it might.

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Hi everyone and Happy New Year – the latest currency updates are below.

AUD: The "Santa rally" that often takes equity prices higher around Christmas spread to the commodity-oriented currencies this festive season. All three of the Commonwealth dollars moved ahead at roughly the same pace, buoyed by the same positive sentiment. In the case of the Australian dollar itself, the positive sentiment was helped by two indicators that pointed to further economic expansion. Most recently, the Australian dollar has strengthened. This is due to positive manufacturing data from China.

EUR: With Germany still refusing to write the cheque that would keep the euro intact the job has been left to the European Central Bank. In 2011 it switched on the printing presses to create hundreds of billions of euros with which to support Italian government bonds and the region's commercial banks. In a single day the ECB dished out half a trillion euros to 500 banks. And the presses are still on standby. The omens are not great.

USD: Together with the Japanese yen the dollar is one of two top-tier havens for nervous investors keen to put their money in a safe place. As long as the economy and creditworthiness of Euroland remain suspect, that safety feature will remain in demand. In 2011 the dollar advanced by less than a cent against sterling, principally because for the first six months of the year investors were not worried enough. That is unlikely to be the situation in the first half of this year.

NZD: The Kiwi kept close company with the Aussie dollar during the festive fortnight, taking advantage of a burst of year-end optimism. NZ economic statistics were few and far between and were not entirely positive. Business confidence softened in December and the economy grew by just 1.9% in the year to September, less than the 2.2% that investors had been anticipating.

CAD: Torn between following the US dollar and running off with its antipodean cousins the Loonie decided to opt for a two and a half cent rally in company with the AUD and NZD. The economic fundamentals had little to do with its advance; investors were smitten with festive optimism and they were of a mind to buy themselves something a little less boring for Christmas than the safe-haven Greenback and yen.

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Strong data from the US, China and Europe, combined with Australian manufacturing figures which expanded for the first time in six months in December, has strengthened the Australian dollar.

Currently, the Aussie dollar is benefiting as markets worldwide appear more confident. Stock markets, for example, can provide a good indicator of global economic activity - commodity currencies, like the Aussie dollar, tend to lift when the stock market is stronger (and when there is a “risk appetite”).

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Hi everyone – please find the latest currency updates below, thanks.

 

AUD: The Aussie was unchanged against sterling on the week, having remained in a narrow cent-and-a-half channel. Data from the Australian economy were adequate rather than positive, with signs of modest improvement in manufacturing, construction and services that made the picture less gloomy than before. Retail sales in November were flat in comparison with the same month last year.

 

EUR: The euro had a nervous start to the year after investors asked themselves what had changed and decided the answer was "nothing". Against the US dollar and the pound the euro scored a 15-month low; against the Japanese yen it was at its weakest in ten years. As this week began the Franco-German summit meeting provided a glimmer of hope, as such meetings generally do, but it will probably have faded by midweek.

 

USD: With the euro under the microscope once again the US dollar and Japanese yen have reasserted themselves as places of safety. The two currencies led the field last week, both strengthening by about 1% against the pound. Friday's particularly meaty US employment report helped the dollar higher: 200k jobs were added in December and unemployment was down from 8.7% to 8.5%. In a return to traditional logic, the strong US data worked in the dollar's favour, not against it.

 

NZD: Despite - or maybe because of - a dearth of New Zealand economic statistics the NZ dollar was the third best performer for a second week. There was no obvious reason why the Kiwi found favour with investors and it was the only commodity-oriented currency to pull ahead of sterling. There are no important statistics between now and Friday either, so if the "no news is good news" attitude persists the Kiwi could possibly have another good week ahead of it.

 

CAD: The Loonie was going nowhere until it tripped over a disappointing employment report on Friday afternoon. A 17.5k jobs increase in December failed to make up for the -18.6k lost the previous month and the unemployment rate went up from 7.4% to 7.5%. Although the numbers were not awful, they fell short of expectations and the news sent the Loonie to its lowest level this year.

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Guest gavnicjacflo

John

 

What about the Great British Pound ?

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The UK has had some decent data released recently – last week figures were released on the U.K.'s service sector growth – it accelerated in December as service providers reported an increase in activity and incoming new business.

 

With unemployment and likely weak income growth there are still challenging times ahead - the UK is also heavily dependent on the eurozone countries making a recovery as they are a key trading partner.

This week, there is little UK economic data due to be released. The main event of the week for the pound is likely to be the Bank of England rate decision on Thursday.

Thanks

John

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The Australian dollar has strengthened due to better than expected housing figures released in Australia – at the moment, generally, there is a positive mood in the market which helps the Aussie dollar.

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The Australian dollar continues to strengthen as a positive mood remains over the global economic outlook.

 

The focus will be on Europe today with the European Central Bank due to make a decision on interest rates - the Aussie dollar may react positively/negatively depending on the news.

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Despite the continuing eurozone worries, the Australian dollar remains strong.

 

Standard & Poor's downgraded the creditworthiness of the eurozone's bailout fund, however this news was expected by the markets therefore there was little/no negative reaction.

 

Generally, at the moment, there is heightened "risk appetite" which boosts commodity currencies such as the Aussie dollar.

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Hi everyone - please see a sumarry of the main global currencies below.

EUR: the euro began the week well and ended it badly. Heartened by the first EU summit meeting of the season, involving the French and German leaders, investors reacted positively to successful bond auctions by Italy and Spain and to the European Central Bank's assertion that it had prevented a credit crunch. On Friday, however, all the good work was destroyed when eight Euroland countries, including France, received downgrades to their credit ratings. It was not a surprise but it was unhelpful to the euro.

 

USD: Early underperformance by the US dollar and Japanese yen stemmed from greater confidence in the euro area. For four days that more optimistic attitude reduced investors' appetite for the safe-haven currencies. The bubble of optimism popped on Friday after Standard & Poor's lowered the credit ratings of France and seven other Euroland states. The dollar spiked higher and held onto most of its gains this Monday morning.

 

NZD: The Kiwi was the week's top performer, adding 2% against the pound to touch a four-month high and strengthening by a similar proportion against the euro to reach a record high. It was broad sentiment that drove it ahead rather than any NZ-specific economic news. There was only one statistic; November's building permits, and they were down by -6.4% on the month.

 

CAD: The Canadian dollar lagged its Australian and New Zealand cousins but comfortably outperformed the rand, the safe-haven currencies and the Europeans. Upbeat sentiment during the first four days of the week took the three Commonwealth commodity dollars ahead of the pack. They fell back on Friday after a downgrade of euro zone credit ratings dissipated investor confidence.

 

GBP: The UK economic picture is poor with worries remaining about falling back into recession. British inflation fell sharply in December, with the annual CPI rate dropping to 4.2 percent from 4.8 percent in November, supporting the Bank of England's view that consumer price inflation may have peaked. The weaker reading will add to expectations the BoE will increase asset purchases under its quantitative easing programme next month.

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Hi everyone, please see the latest currency updates below, thanks.

 

EUR: In what looked like a re-run of the previous week the euro spent four days on the rise before falling nearly all the way back on Friday. The optimism this time came from a perception that the wholesale downgrade of Euroland credit ratings was no worse for the euro than a similar US downgrade in August had been for the dollar. Friday's pessimism came with the fear that Greece's debt restructure might fall apart.

 

USD: With investors mostly in upbeat mood they felt no need for the security offered by the US dollar and the yen. The safe-haven currencies were left on the shelf and were the week's two worst performers. US economic data were in short supply and even those that did emerge were not particularly useful as guidance. The most instructive figure this week will be the first peek at fourth quarter gross domestic product, which is forecast to have grown by an annualised 3.0%.

 

AUD: The Aussie kept close company with the NZ dollar, the euro and the Swiss franc. It did not have much to say for itself and was fortunate not to be punished for some disappointing employment data. While the 5.2% unemployment rate was unchanged, 29,300 jobs were lost in December and the November job loss count was revised upwards to 7,500. The news had only a temporarily negative effect on the Australian dollar.

 

NZD: December's Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion had a subdued tone, showing a second successive decline in business confidence and an almost complete absence of upward pressure on prices. The collapse of inflation became clear 24 hours later with figures showing how the consumer price index fell by -0.3% in the December quarter. The negative inflation number was not helpful to the NZ dollar but did it no lasting damage.

 

CAD: The Canadian dollar was more strongly attracted to the US dollar than to its Australian and New Zealand cousins. It got no help from the Canadian economic data and one figure was a noticeable handicap. The consumer price index fell by -0.6% in December. It was only one month's data, and inflation for the year as a whole was a positive 2.3%, but the whiff of deflation did not bring buyers flocking to the Loonie.

 

GBP: Concerns linger on the Bank of England potentially having to inject further cash into the fragile UK economy (this is called Quantitative easing). Fourth-quarter UK GDP data is released on Wednesday and depending on the figure, this could undermine sterling and weaken the pound.

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Hi everyone, please see the latest currency updates below, thanks.

 

GBP: Concerns linger on the Bank of England potentially having to inject further cash into the fragile UK economy (this is called Quantitative easing). Fourth-quarter UK GDP data is released on Wednesday and depending on the figure, this could undermine sterling and weaken the pound.

So I suppose based on this if people need to change currency to AU its best done before Wednesday.

I can remember when it was 1.8 and people kept saying it had to get better and were waiting for the 2.5 to return, who could have predicted that years later it's still dropping


If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.

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Hi all – please see the latest currency updates below, thanks

EUR: The euro had a good week, helped by a belief among investors that negotiations about reducing Greece's government debt would be successful. On the other side of the coin were two developments at the weekend: President Sarkozy announced a new tax on French financial transactions and Berlin let it be known that the chancellor would like Brussels to take control of the Greek budget. Investors will hold their fire until they see what - if anything - comes out of this Monday's EU summit meeting in Brussels.

 

USD: The dollar ended up at the bottom of the heap through no fault of its own. With confidence about a Greek debt resolution relatively high, demand for the safe-haven dollar was low. Figures on Friday showing that the US economy grew by 0.7% in the last quarter of 2011 did the dollar no good whatsoever. It simply reinforced investor optimism about the global economy, further dampening any demand for safety.

 

AUD: Although it did touch an all-time high against the pound, the Aussie was held back by unhelpful statistics. Two economics research departments released figures pointing to a slowing Australian economy and inflation figures for the fourth quarter of last year revealed that prices did not rise at all. Inflation for the year as a whole fell from 3.5% to 3.1%. The numbers were not horrible but they could have been far better.

 

NZD: Where the Australian data failed to deliver, those from New Zealand exceeded expectations. Credit card spending was up, the survey of purchasing managers showed activity on the rise again and November's trade deficit was turned into a NZ$338 surplus in December. Few though they were, the New Zealand data were the only ones to exceed expectations in every respect last week.

 

CAD: The performance of the Canadian dollar closely matched that of the pound, though only by coincidence. Canadian economic data were few and did not get in the way; the leading index, an indicator of future likely economic performance, was stronger than expected and retail sales rose by 0.3% in November in line with forecast. In background support was investors' perception that Greece will be successful in reducing its government debt, thereby improving the global economic outlook.

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Hi all – please see the latest currency updates below, thanks.

AUD: The Australian and New Zealand dollars both did well over the week. The Aussie was fortunate to dodge some ropey economic statistics, particularly those from the housing market. New home sales, building permits and house prices all registered monthly declines. Not all the news was mediocre though. Surveys of the manufacturing and services sectors did both produce positive results.

NZD: As the New Zealand economy had almost nothing to say for itself thee Kiwi dollar was left to bob along in the wake of the AUD and did a good job of keeping up. The commodity currencies collectively had a good week, helped by strong US economic data that persuaded investors that demand for commodities would remain strong. The 243k monthly rise in US non-farm payrolls was particularly helpful in that direction.

CAD: The Canadian dollar made no attempt to shine. The economy shrank slightly in November after stagnating the previous month. The industrial product price index and the raw material price index both went down in December. Canadian unemployment went up to 7.6% in January after only 3.3k new jobs were created. But the Loonie was helped higher by the same US employment numbers that boosted the other commodity-oriented currencies.

EUR: There is still no resolution of the plan to reschedule Greek government debt and there is a new disagreement, at cabinet level, about the reforms and cuts demanded by the EU before Greece gets its next instalment of bailout money. Even so, investors still have faith that both those issues will be sorted out satisfactorily this week. If they are it will be good for the euro. Otherwise it could find itself in the firing line again.

USD: A robust series of US economic data kept the dollar ahead of the euro but did it no great favours. A prime example was Friday's employment report, which showed the creation of twice the number of jobs that analysts had been expecting. Investors did not know whether to sell the dollar, on the basis that stronger growth means less demand for safe-haven currencies, or to take the obvious line and buy it. So they did both and the dollar went nowhere.

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Hi everyone, the latest currency updates are below – thanks.

 

AUD: A -0.1% fall in Australian retail sales and further slippage in the construction sector did little damage to the Aussie. It got a boost when the Reserve Bank of Australia failed to lower its benchmark interest rate, surprising investors and sparking a sharp but short-lived upward spike. Otherwise, a general lack of inspiration allowed the AUD to keep pace with sterling and the two were unchanged on the week.

 

EUR: The euro was the week's second-best performer among the major currencies. It found favour after investors began to expect agreement between Greece and EU ministers, on the scale and speed of spending cuts and reforms, which would lead to another €130 billion of bailout money for Athens. It is not a done deal yet though. Greece has until Wednesday to persuade the EU that it is serious, and that today's commitment to austerity will not evaporate after elections in April. The euro has more work to do.

 

USD: The dollar was unchanged against sterling on the week. There were vanishingly few economic statistics to give it direction and those which might have done so had minimal impact. The only figure really to matter was an unexpected two and a half point fall for the Michigan university index of consumer sentiment. The dollar's safe-haven qualities were not in demand but investors were not inclined to sell it either.

 

NZD: Like the Australian dollar, the Kiwi never really got going. It added about half a cent against sterling but only by an accident of timing. Figures from the NZ economy showed the number of people in employment rising by 0.1% in the fourth quarter of last year. That incremental rise was enough to lower the rate of unemployment from 6.6% to 6.3%, suggesting a fall in the size of the workforce.

 

CAD: The Loonie kept pace with the US dollar, sticking within a half-cent range either side of one-for-one. Against sterling it added about three quarters of a cent. The Canadian economy had little to say for itself. A two-point rise in the Ivey purchasing managers' index showed activity picking up and December's $2.7 billion trade surplus was a positive surprise.

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Hi everyone – please see the latest currency updates below, thanks.

 

AUD: A triple-A credit rating, a 4.25% benchmark interest rate and an impressively low ratio of government debt/GDP Australia continues to attract bond investors. On top of that, the Reserve Bank reminded them that the resource boom will suck in over A$100bn of inward investment in the next two years. Close to record highs it is hard to argue for further strengthening of the Aussie but that does not mean it cannot happen.

 

EUR: The euro began the week with investors suspecting that Germany was aiming to force Greece out of the single currency. It ended it with the real prospect that a meeting of EU finance ministers this Monday could result in the release of money for the second bailout. Neither possibility engendered any real emotion from investors, who appear worn down by the endless saga. Nevertheless, agreement on the bailout this week - if it happens, ought to be positive for the euro.

 

USD: The fate of the dollar remains inextricably bound to the confidence of investors. When they are upbeat they buy commodities and equities and sell the safe-haven US dollar; when they are worried - usually about Greece and the global economy - they sell riskier investments and buy the dollar. Last week the mood was mainly positive and the dollar suffered. Also holding it down was the Federal Reserve chairman's pledge to keep interest rates low for a long time to come.

 

CAD: With America's economy creeping - if not striding - ahead and global commodity prices remaining buoyant the Canadian dollar looks attractive to investors. Since the beginning of the month the Loonie has been doing its best to establish itself at or above one-for-one with the US dollar. However, it is still having to play third fiddle to the Brazilian real and the Mexican peso, which have been the world's best-performing currencies this year,

 

NZD: The New Zealand dollar is unchanged on the week against sterling, supported by offshore buying, most notably by Japanese investors who have pushed the NZD/JPY exchange within a cent of last year's high. Although the latest dairy auctions were slightly disappointing, implying lower payments for the agricultural sector, the Reserve Bank governor remains optimistic that demand from China will remain strong. He is probably less enthusiastic about the strength that implies for the NZ dollar.

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Hi everyone, the latest currency updates are below – thanks.

AUD: As usual the antipodean commodity dollars stuck together, this time joined by the Canadian dollar. All three fell back by around -0.8% against the pound. The economic data failed to come to the Aussie's rescue, even though they were not at all bad. The Conference Board's leading index (which aggregates forward-looking statistics to anticipate growth) and an equivalent leading index from Westpac both swung from negative to positive, implying future economic expansion. The wage price index was steady in the fourth quarter of 2011 with growth at an annual 3.6%.

 

EUR: The G20 meeting threw up no volunteers to boost the Euroland bailout fund. The attitude of non-EU leaders was that euro area countries must first help themselves. A summit meeting later this week will address the issue; German enthusiasm has already been registered as minimal. Investors are less fussed about the bailout fund than they are about the European Central Bank's second Long Term Refinancing Operation on Wednesday, which will probably dish out another half trillion of cheap loans to the region's banks. They like the idea.

 

USD: The dollar and the pound were unchanged against each other on the week. Neither was in the limelight as the yen suffered another trashing and the euro enjoyed a brief renaissance. In common with most countries, US economic data were in short supply, neither helping nor hindering the dollar. Existing home sales rebounded strongly in January while new home sales went into reverse. Weekly jobless claims were steady.

 

CAD: For some reason the Loonie aligned itself to its antipodean cousins instead of the US dollar. All three fell back by around -0.8% against the pound. The few Canadian economic data showed wholesale sales rising by a robust 0.9% in December while retail sales for the same month went down. The -0.2% retail sales decline made it look as though retailers had stocked up with goods they found themselves unable to shift.

 

NZD: Once again the antipodean commodity dollars moved together, this time joined by the Canadian dollar. All three fell back by around -0.8% against the pound. Just two NZ statistics were provided to motivate investors. Neither was much of an incentive. The latest survey of inflation expectations found consumers guessing price would rise by 2.5% this year where previously they had put the estimate at 2.8%. Annual growth in credit card spending halved in January to 3.1% (in the year to December it grew by 5.9%).

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Great post, glad I saw this :) thanks x


Vic SS applied 03/11, granted 05/11, IELTS passed 09/11 score 9/8/8/8.5 overall 8.5, pos skills assessment 18/10 ,176 app 22/10, granted 16 Dec 2011!

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Hi everyone – please see the latest currency updates below, thanks.

 

AUD: Having taken the Australian dollar to an all-time high in mid-February, investors have become less gung-ho in their buying. At least in part that will be in recognition that the Aussie has strengthened by 68% against the pound since Northern Rock tipped sterling off its perch in September 2007. Last week the Aussie did manager to strengthen against the pound but enthusiasm was lacking and its gain amounted to no more than a single cent.

 

EUR: Although much of the heat has gone out of the Euroland debt crisis, with the second bailout for Greece and the European Central Bank's trillion-euro loan to the region's commercial banks, there are still nagging concerns. Why, for instance, did 800 banks line up for last week's special loans when only 500 took part in the first round two months ago? As long as the questions keep coming the euro will be kept on the back foot.

 

USD: Another respectable set of US data reinforced the notion that America's economy is the best of a bad bunch. The nine-point jump in consumer confidence to 70.8 was particularly impressive. Yet the dollar was able to add no more than half a cent to its value against sterling. Investors see stronger US economic performance not as a reason to buy the dollar but as reassurance that the global economy has a brighter future. It makes them less inclined to buy the safe-haven currency, not more so.

 

CAD: The Loonie was the week's best-performing currency, for no obvious reason. A wider than expected trade deficit and economic growth at half the pace of the United States should have sent the Canadian dollar lower, not higher. Yet it sprang ahead after breaking through a four-month high against the US dollar. It was falling back as London opened this Monday, suggesting that speculators were taking profits on long positions.

 

NZD: Close to the all-time high they set for it last August, investors are treating the Kiwi with more caution. Since the middle of January, and with the exception of an exploratory spike three weeks ago, the New Zealand dollar has gone nowhere. Last week it eased by a cent against the pound. Another downward pressure is a slowing of Chinese economic growth. The implication is that Chinese demand for New Zealand's exports could also slacken, thereby reducing the upward pressure on the NZ dollar.

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The Australian dollar has weakened due as the Government in China downgraded their growth forcast.

 

Being a key trading partner of Australia, any negative news in China affects the Aussie dollar.

 

The Reserve Bank of Australia left interest rates in Australia unchanged and in their statement said there is scope to ease policy if necessary.

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Hi all – the latest currency updates are below, thanks.

EUR: The euro spent last week in the middle of the major currency field, despite the anticipation - and then the realisation - of a national default by Greece. After two years in which to accustom themselves to the event, it went through smoothly and scarcely an eyebrow was raised. With the Greek problem out of the way for now, the euro ought to be able to look forward to a period of contemplative calm. The crisis is not over but, for the moment, it is not the foremost of investors' considerations.

 

 

USD: Another monthly rise in US non-farm payrolls, the 17th in succession, took to 2.8m the number of jobs that have so far been restored after 8.6m disappeared in 2008-09. The United States is leading the western world back towards recovery. Unusually, the strong employment figures were not seen as a signal to sell the dollar, as has so often been the case in recent years. This time, perhaps because Greece was busy defaulting on its debts at the time, investors took the traditional view and bought dollars.

 

 

 

CAD: Shortly before strong US employment data came out on Friday afternoon Canada released its own positive figures, with a fall in unemployment from 7.6% to 7.4%. It was not the only helpful statistic. Earlier in the week the Ivey purchasing managers' index rose by ten points to 66.0 The index measures activity and orders across a broad spectrum of business and its 18.5% rise was a biggish deal. Taken together the US and Canadian data made North America and its two dollars look good.

 

 

 

AUD: The Aussie was one of the week's two worst performers, partly because of underlying nervousness about Greece but also because of the Australian economic evidence. The current account deficit widened, construction sector activity slowed further, economic growth slowed in the fourth quarter of last year and unemployment went up to 5.2% in February with the unexpected loss of 15.4k jobs. Good news was in short supply.

 

 

 

NZD: The Kiwi fell behind the pound but only to the tune of a cent and a half. In the early part of the week it was held back by uncertainty surrounding the planned Greek default. On Friday it lost ground when investors - unusually - decided that evidence of stronger US economic performance was not a reason to buy the currencies of commodity exporters. And all along, it was weighed down by the Aussie dollar, which was suffering from a series of below-par Australian economic data.

 

 

UK: The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted and kept interest rates at 0.5% in March – given the economic outlook in the UK, it is likely that rates will stay as they are for a while yet. In other data released, service sector continues to grow however the stats for UK industrial production were lower than expected.

 

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Please find below a brief roundup of this week major currencies.

EUR: After six months - or two years, depending when you start counting - of debt-crisis-related tension, EU finance ministers signed off last Monday for the second bailout of Greece. Although it will probably not be the end of the palaver it at least put an end to the most recent sorry chapter and investors were grateful not to have to chase the euro hither and yon last week. The euro ought to be hang onto its low profile this week too.

USD: For four days the US dollar laboured to consolidate its return to the real world; a currency bought or sold on its own merits rather than according to investors' need for a safe haven. Strong US retail sales figures helped. That achievement came back to bite it on the ankle on Friday when soft inflation numbers, poor industrial production figures and falling consumer confidence knocked a cent off its value.

CAD: The Loonie held onto its position slightly ahead of the US dollar. It was a mixed blessing: for four days the Canadian dollar looked good but it was dragged down on Friday when the a trio of disappointing data sent the Greenback lower. The Canadian economic data were of no help in differentiating the Loonie from its big brother. Among other things, Canada suffered a net outflow of cross-border investment in January.

AUD: A dull week for the Aussie kept it within a two-cent range against the US dollar and the pound. It inched ahead of the euro but not by much. The Australian economic data were of no help whatsoever. Most of the figures not preceded by a minus sign were disappointing for some other reason. Home loans, housing starts, business confidence and consumer confidence were all down, while motor vehicle sales were flat.

NZD: The Kiwi only just failed to pip sterling to the post as the week's best-performing major currency. Of greatest benefit to the NZ dollar was the paucity of New Zealand economic data. There were just two vaguely relevant statistics: Business NZ's purchasing managers' index improved by a useful seven points to 57.7 and Westpac said this Monday morning that customer confidence was a point better in the first quarter of 2012 at 102.4. It was good news but not good enough for the Kiwi to take first place.

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