The trade deficit for June grew from GBP6.2 billion in May to GBP6.5 billion in June, more than markets expected. UK exports rose by 1.4% but this was offset by a 2.2% decline in imports responsible for the widening deficit.

Sterling foreign exchange rates have come under pressure following the Bank of England decision to add to QE levels last week. An improvement in trade will be crucial to the UK's economic recovery and the trade balance  figures have been regarded as a slight setback by markets. However the time lag involved means that the economy may be in a better position now, as recent improvements in manufacturing and industrial production would suggest.

Sterling currency exchange rates are currently at USD1.65 and EUR1.16.

The rates quoted above are interbank rates. Client rates may vary according to the volume and timing of the trade.