Pound Sterling - UK Markets

Sterling exchange rates hit a one-month low against the euro yesterday, the third consecutive day of losses as the pound was put on the back foot from weak industrial production and manufacturing data. This morning the pound has declined to 1.6 against the US dollar and 1.15 against the euro, sliding ahead of the interest rate decision tomorrow.

The first round of second quarter GDP predictions has arrived with the NISER predicting the economy will shrink by -0.4%. Halifax house pricing figures released this morning show that prices have declined -15% on the year, with a -0.5 decline in June partially reversing the 2.6% rise in May. Weak UK data is leading to speculation that the Bank of England will add to its quantitative easing programme and this has reduced support for the pound. Today is light for UK data with sterling exchange rates likely to be affected by trade balance and GDP figures out tomorrow. 

US Dollar - US Markets

US dollar exchange rates have climbed this morning, continuing gains from recent days on the back of market risk aversion. The dollar is currently valued at 0.71 versus the euro and 0.62 versus the pound.

The G8 summit kicks off today although with Chinese President Hu Jintao delayed, debate over the status of the USD as the premier reserve currency is likely to be put on hold. Recent uncertainty in the market has led investors to flock to the safe haven dollar in droves, quelling doubts over the position of the dollar as reserve for the moment. The Japanese yen has also risen to six-week highs against the euro and pound on the back of uncertainty. Today in the US MBA mortgage application figures are released with jobless claims figures out tomorrow.

Euro - European Markets

Euro exchange rates reached a one-month high against the pound yesterday, boosted by bullish German data and weak figures from the UK. This morning the euro has continued to gain, currently trading at 0.86 versus the pound and 1.39 against the US dollar.

Euro exchange rates received a boost yesterday from German factory orders which unexpectedly jumped to 4.4%. This is in contrast to industrial production figures in the UK, where markets expected a 0.2% rise but in fact got a -0.5% contraction. This morning first quarter GDP figures for the eurozone show the economy contracted -2.5% in the first quarter, in line with market expectations. German industrial production figures are also due this morning and this is likely to provide further insight into how the eurozone economy is faring. 

Other Currencies - Highlights

Australian dollar exchange rates reached a three-week high against the pound yesterday as weak figures in the UK and the RBA interest rate decision renewed optimism in the Australian economy. Consumer confidence in Australia also surged by 9% in July and new mortgage lending rose by 2.2%. However despite the positive data, the pound eventually trimmed losses to close the day up against the Aussie dollar following news that Asian economies face a steep climb out of recession. Internationally, appetite for risk is low and this is putting pressure on exchange rates for the Aussie and Kiwi dollar.