Our final news installment of the year sees the pound hitting a ten day high against the dollar. Year-end position adjustments led to a broad sell-off in the greenback as price movements were generally exaggerated due to thin trading.

Pound Sterling – UK Markets

Sterling was up 0.4% against the dollar this morning to trade at USD1.613. The pound hit a ten-day high of USD1.615 earlier on despite a survey from Nationwide showing that British house prices rose for an eighth consecutive month in December. Elsewhere, there were positive signs from a Bank of England quarterly survey which showed that British lenders expect to make credit more easily available to households and businesses in the first quarter of 2010.

US Dollar – US Markets

The dollar fell against the pound and dipped for the first time in four days against the euro and the yen on speculation the US currency’s rally this month was overdone. The greenback depreciated to USD1.44 per euro this morning from USD1.43 yesterday and declined to 92.25 yen. This year the dollar has dropped against all of its 16 most-traded counterparts except for the yen as a global recovery curbed demand for the security of the world’s reserve currency.

Euro – European Markets

The euro rose 0.1 percent against the pound to 89.27 pence. Late yesterday, the single currency fell as low as 89.11 pence. The single currency’s share of global currency reserves rose to a record yesterday according to the International Monetary Fund, further strengthening it’s hold on the dollar.

Other Currencies – Highlights

The rand rose 0.3% to 7.369 per dollar, up more than 29% this year. Elsewhere, the Australian dollar climbed 0.6% to 89.97 US cents, rising 28% versus the dollar in 2009. Happy New Year and we look forward to keeping you informed in 2010.