Sir Alan, you're hired!

Thu, 25 Jun 09 06:00 am

This week Sir Alan Sugar has a new apprentice and a new role, appointed by Gordon Brown - who only narrowly avoided being fired himself - as the UK's new "enterprise tsar". The UK has triumphed over the euro, and not just Andorra either, with the pound surging to its best exchange rate in 2009 against the single currency. And while currency rates have climbed, so too have the value of Ronaldo and Kaka, with the two footballers reportedly signing to Real Madrid for GBP80 million and GBP59 million respectively this week.

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Brown, but not out

Thu, 25 Jun 09 06:00 am

As the UK moves into the first week of summer, this week has been one of extremities. While temperatures soared across Britain, so too did the pound against the US dollar, touching on a seven-month high against the greenback. Yet while the week was good for currency, it was less so Andy Murray and Gordon Brown as one exits the French Open and the other looks set to exit the top job.

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No free lunch for Sterling

Thu, 25 Jun 09 06:00 am

Currency exchange rates and MPs learnt a similar lesson this week: there is no such thing as a free lunch. While MPs were forced to repent the cost of new bathrooms, gardens and moats, the pound was forced to give up its gains after the S&P downgraded the UK's credit rating on the basis of exorbitant government debt.

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Euro domination

Thu, 25 Jun 09 06:00 am

With Barcelona the new European champions, Santander taking over the high street and the euro climbing steadily against the pound, Brits might have every reason to feel a bit miffed this morning. But with the global recession losing momentum, a glimpse of green shoots in the property market and spring in the air, its hard to be negative this week, as even Sterling found when it rose to a seven-month high against the US dollar.

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The bullish Button

Thu, 25 Jun 09 06:00 am

Much like Jenson Button's return from racing purgatory this month, financial markets have recovered their bullish momentum. Yet unlike Button, who will hopefully maintain his momentum in the Formula 1, the level of unknowns in the global economy have forced investors to limit their exposure to risk, dragging down currency exchange rates in the process.

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Stressful week all round

Thu, 25 Jun 09 06:00 am

This week has been stressful for US bankers and Chelsea fans alike, as both have been subject to the most crucial of tests. Yet while the results of "stress tests" will leave some investors aggrieved, it is unlikely they will be as outraged as Chelsea fans after they came to the end of the road in the Champions League.

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Aporkalypse Now

Thu, 25 Jun 09 06:00 am

This week it has been a case of pig against bull in markets as equities retreated into shock mode with the outbreak of swine flu in Mexico. Is it a case of 'aporkalypse' or more media scaremongering? How the story develops remains to be seen, but it is certainly making the met office's promise of a 'barbecue summer' seem slightly less tempting.

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A spoonful of sugar

Thu, 25 Jun 09 06:00 am

Despite the papers depicting an Alistair in Wonderland type scenario with the announcement of the UK budget this week, there was no sugar coating those figures. With debt levels soaring and growth contracting it is not surprising that investment in Cadbury is deemed safer than investment in the Treasury at present. Chocolate coins anyone? They would certainly be easier to swallow...

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Don't look down

Thu, 25 Jun 09 06:00 am

While just about every economy is shrinking during the current recession, reports this morning show the black market for fraud is positively thriving. With an estimated 2000 people a week being caught for insurance fraud one man reported his car stolen only to later admit he had pushed it off a cliff himself, bringing an entirely new meaning to the economy falling off a cliff!

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Federal Reserve minutes reveal pessimism

Thu, 25 Jun 09 06:00 am

Ah, Easter. We're not going to try and kid anyone; as far as we're concerned, Easter is a chance for a long weekend spent stuffing our faces with chocolate. Were we of a more religious bent, we'd be focussing on the weekend as a time for resurrection and rebirth.

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Euro jumps against US dollar

Thu, 25 Jun 09 06:00 am

Unsurprisingly, the G20 conference has dominated the news this week. While Barack Obama arrived at Downing Street as President for the first time, protestors attempted to tear down the infrastructure of some of London's largest banks. Nearly as destructive as the protestors were the leaders of France and Germany, who threatened to tear down any chance of agreement with some bullish brinkmanship.

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Unexpected rise in UK inflation

Thu, 25 Jun 09 06:00 am

While Bernie Ecclestone has very little to do with the global exchange markets, the disarray and constant flip-flopping of new Formula One rules have been mirrored by a particularly topsy-turvy week for Sterling.

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10 jobseekers for every vacancy

Thu, 25 Jun 09 06:00 am

With England trouncing France in the rugby and Amir Khan out-boxing Marco Antonio Barrera, last weekend felt like a good time to be British. Unfortunately, the positivity hasn't lasted. Formula 1 has changed its rules to all but ensure that Ferrari and not McClaren (and, of course, Lewis Hamilton) will win the drivers' championship next year and almost all of the data released from the UK has been dire.

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England Champions on the Pitch

Thu, 25 Jun 09 06:00 am

While the English may be champions on the football pitch, with Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal making it through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, the edge in currency markets belongs firmly in the hands of the Euro. This week Sterling has lacked the legs to sustain even the most minor of rallies, in a diary packed with economic data and dominated by international risk trends...

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Wish you weren't here

Thu, 25 Jun 09 06:00 am

If you are cutting back on costs because of the credit crunch, spare a thought for guests at the Cromwell Crown Hotel in Earl?s Court, dubbed ?Britain?s worst hotel? this week. ?Awful - thought Jack Nicholson was going to burst through the door" wrote one blogger of the reportedly terrifying dive. A holiday staycation? Perhaps not?

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Close your eyes and JUMP!

Thu, 25 Jun 09 06:00 am

It could be a case of fools rushing in... but I have agreed to do a charity skydive this month for Global Angels, an international children's charity. Your support would be greatly appreciated! http://www.globalangels.org/fundraiser/CurrencySolutions/

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