UK inflation falls
Pound Sterling - UK Markets
Sterling currency exchange rates have recovered this morning, boosted by falling inflation rates in the UK. After touching on a five-week low against the euro and falling to 1.60 against the US dollar yesterday, the pound is currently trading at 1.16 and 1.63 against the euro and dollar respectively.
Consumer prices in the UK have risen 0.3% on the month to June yet the annual inflation rate has fallen to 1.8%. This is the first time in 21 months inflation has fallen below the Bank of England's 2% target. The retail price index also rose by 0.3% in June and has fallen by -1.6% annually, dragged lower by a reduction in mortgage approvals. These figures could be interpreted positively by markets as an indication that inflation is levelling off. The DCLG house price index has fallen by -12.5% on the year, better than market expectations and inline with observations that the property market could be bottoming out. Tomorrow, average earnings and the unemployment rate are due in the UK.
US Dollar - US Markets
The greenback has lost ground this morning with currency exchange rates declining on the back of positive market data in the UK. The dollar has gained against the yen, Brazilian real and Swiss franc however, as investors diversify from the traditional safe havens.
US equity market staged a minor rally yesterday as a report suggested corporate earnings at Goldman Sachs could rise as much as 15% The S&P closed the day 2.5% up and the boost allowed sterling exchange rates to recover against the dollar. This rally however was complicated by the fact that Larry Summers, an economic advisor to the White House, commented that we may not have seen the bottom for GDP yet and underlying trends remain uneasy. US retail sales and the producer price index will be the focus of foreign exchange markets later in the day.
Euro - European Markets
Euro currency exchange rates are weaker this morning, sinking on the back of downbeat industrial production figures and increased risk appetite. After surging to a five-week high yesterday, the euro has lost 0.5% to the pound while posting gains on the yen, US dollar and Swiss franc.
Eurozone industrial production has fallen 0.5% in May, with the annual rate of decline running at -17%. This is a slight recovery from the -21.6% decline predicted the previous month but is still a massive knock to confidence in the euro. The EUR/USD currency exchange rate has found support at 1.39 after being rejected at 1.40 yesterday. Also this morning the German ZEW economic survey has fallen to -39.5 in July, in contrast to market expectations. As the largest economy in the region, confidence in the German economy is crucial and these figures are likely to affect euro sentiment throughout the day.
Other Currencies - Highlights
Hungarian inflation rates have also unexpectedly slowed in June, falling to 3.7% from 3.8% the previous month. This increases chances of an interest rate cut for Hungary as stable inflation and a less volatile currency are improving investor confidence in the forint. Currency exchange rates for the Hungarian forint have risen to 275.79 per euro this morning. After declining 16% against the euro in the last year, the forint has recovered 5% in the last three months.
Japanese stocks rose overnight, led higher by the US market rally and the expectation of positive corporate earning figures. The yen has lost ground as global confidence rises and markets await results of the Japanese election and Bank of Japan interest rate decision.