Pound Sterling - UK Markets

Sterling currency rates touched on a 10-week low against the single currency yesterday, falling to 1.1410 in the midst of weak market sentiment. This morning the pound continues to fall, trading at 1.13 against the euro and 1.63 against the US dollar.

Sterling sentiment remains extremely weak at present, due to the absence of positive UK data and growing levels of government debt. The rise in German business confidence has led to increased pressure on the pound, though economists are speculating this could be positive for sterling as a euro recovery, combined with weak exchange rates will help stimulate UK exports. The next two days are light for UK data with GDP figures released on Friday.

US Dollar - US Markets

The US dollar rose for the fifth consecutive day against the pound, as markets responded favourably to the news that Ben Bernanke would be appointed a second term as Fed chairman. This morning US currency rates are valued at 0.69 versus euro and 0.61 against the pound, while declining against the yen, Australian and New Zealand dollars.

US consumer confidence figures released yesterday show confidence rose for the first time in three months, reaching 54.1 and topping the 50 mark which separates negative from positive data. House prices however, continued to decline, falling 6.1% in the second quarter despite a 0.5% rise in the month to July. Today new home sales figures and durable goods orders will be of interest to US markets.

Euro - European Markets

Euro currency rates have continued to rally this morning, gaining a further 0.3% on the pound and 0.15% on the US dollar. The single currency has also gained against its Asian and European currency partners, touching on 0.84 against the pound and 1.43 against the US dollar.

The German IFO business climate survey has risen to 90.5 in August, while expectations have also risen to 95. The German import price index came in at -0.9% on the month but overall, the euro is stronger due to dramatically improved sentiment in the eurozone. There is no further data in the eurozone today, with economic, consumer and industrial confidence released later in the week.

Other Currencies - Highlights

In Japan export levels have declined in July, falling for the tenth straight month sparking fears that the effects of global stimulus packages may be beginning to wane. Export levels fell 37.5% in July, more than the 36.5% recorded in June. Currency rates for the yen have climbed against the pound, euro and US dollar this morning. 

Annual inflation rates in Brazil have slowed for the third consecutive month, prompting speculation that the central bank will keep interest rates low until mid 2010. Currency rates for the Brazilian real fell 1% against the US dollar following the news, and are currently trading at 1.86 per US dollar.