Pound Sterling - UK Markets

Sterling currency exchange rates came under continued selling pressure yesterday after weak retail sales reduced confidence in the pound. This morning sterling rose slightly against its European and Asian currency partners, trading at 1.62 against the US dollar and 1.13 against the euro.

Despite positive housing figures yesterday, the pound came under pressure from a report which showed business investment in the UK has fallen the most in 24 years. GDP figures released this morning have been revised upwards, showing that the UK economy contracted -0.7% in the second quarter, rather than the -0.8% previously recorded. This could help lift sterling today, while UK exchange rates will also likely be affected by consumer figures out in the US.

US Dollar - US Markets

Currency exchange rates for the US dollar are slightly lower this morning, losing ground against the pound, Australian and Canadian currencies. The greenback has climbed against the yen, euro and New Zealand dollar ahead of key consumer releases in the US today.

The core personal consumption index is due in the US today and this, along with personal income and expenditure for July will help provide an insight into consumer spending in the US economy. Consumer activity is crucial to economic recovery and the figures are expected to rise following the "cash for clunkers" initiative. The figures are due this afternoon.

Euro - European Currencies

Euro currency exchange rates have dipped slightly this morning, although the single currency remains at the top of recent ranges, particularly against the pound. The euro is currently trading at 1.43 against the US dollar and 0.87 against the pound.

The euro is heading for its second monthly gain on the US dollar, as euro sentiment has improved following the emergence of France and Germany from recession. German consumer confidence has leapt to a three-year high and European markets have gained this morning following positive results from Dell and higher metal prices. Economic and industrial confidence for the eurozone has exceeded market expectations this morning, while consumer confidence came in slightly lower than expected.

Other Currencies - Highlights

Currency exchange rates for the yen remain strong this morning, following news that Japan's unemployment rate rose to 5.7%, ahead of the expected 5.4%. Consumer prices are also falling at record levels and as this comes on the eve of the general election, the news is a blow for incumbent prime minister Taro Aso.

Australian currency exchange rates are heading for the longest month of gains in over 20 years against the US dollar following a rally on the back of economic recovery. Record low interest rates and rising commodity prices have helped lead the Australian currency higher in recent months against the yen and US dollar. The New Zealand dollar is also on the verge of seven months worth of gains against the yen.