Pound Sterling - UK Markets

Sterling exchange rates are in familiar territory against its international currency partners this morning, trading at 1.63 against the dollar and 1.16 against the euro. The pound has also gained over 0.3% against the Australian, New Zealand and Canadian dollars on the back of improved risk appetite.

The rising UK unemployment rate put sterling under pressure yesterday as official figures showed unemployment had reached the highest level in 12 years. However the pound was able to trim losses with strong US corporate earning figures and GDP in China boosting appetite for risk in the market. There is no major data in the UK today, with sterling exchange rates likely to be affected by the results of the Philadelphia Fed released this afternoon.

US Dollar - US Markets

Exchange rates for the US dollar slid yesterday as strong corporate earning figures buoyed market sentiment and increased risk appetite. The dollar lost ground against the yen, pound and euro, although has pared losses this morning to currently trade at 0.71 versus the euro and 0.61 against the pound.

Minutes from the FOMC meeting released yesterday noted that any further funds from the Federal Reserve would depend on "the Committee's evolving expectations for the economy". The Fed have increased their economic outlook, revising growth figures upwards, but the rising balance sheet is an immediate concern. Strong corporate earnings from Intel and Goldman Sachs triggered a dollar sell off yesterday and the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing survey is due in the US today.

Euro - European Markets

The euro exchange rate climbed 1% against the US dollar yesterday, touching on 1.41 on the back of rising market confidence. The euro has since dropped back against the dollar, currently trading at 0.85 versus the pound and 1.40 versus the dollar.

European indices surged ahead yesterday, with French, German and UK stock markets all gaining over 2% following positive figures in the US and China. Consumer prices have declined in France for the second month in a row, falling 0.6% from a year ago due to lower energy prices. There is no data due in the eurozone today with construction output and the trade balance released tomorrow. 

Other Currencies - Highlights

Overnight figures from China show annual GDP growth of 7.9% and industrial production growing 10.7% in the past year, supporting this GDP growth. Inflation rates are falling in China, declining 1.7% on the year, with annual retail sales down to 15% growth, falling from a peak of 23% last year. Overall the Chinese economy remains strong and this led to a wave of optimism in global markets yesterday, sending exchange rates higher for the higher yielding currencies.

Consumer inflation in New Zealand rose by 0.6% in quarter 2, slightly higher than the 0.4% forecast by the Reserve Bank. The New Zealand dollar gained over 2 cents against the pound yesterday on the back of strong profits from Intel and Goldman Sachs and has continued to gain this morning, currently trading at 2.55 to the pound.