US unemployment 9.7%
Pound Sterling - UK Markets
After some choppy overnight trading, sterling currency rates are higher against the US dollar and yen this morning, while the pound has slid against the euro, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand dollars. Sterling is currently trading at 1.64 against the US dollar and 1.14 against the euro.
Currency rates for the pound remained within recent ranges on Friday, as investors favoured risk aversion ahead of US employment data. The OECD has forecast a slow recovery for Britain and this is keeping sterling exchange rates under pressure this morning. Today is light for UK data with industrial and manufacturing production figures due tomorrow, followed by the Bank of England interest rate decision on Thursday.
US Dollar - US Markets
US currency rates are weaker this morning against the euro, pound and Canadian dollar while gaining ground on the yen and Mexican peso. The greenback is currently valued at 0.69 against the euro and 0.60 against the pound.
US employers continued to shed jobs in the third quarter, with non-farm payrolls falling 216,000 in August. This is lower than the 276,000 recorded in July and far fewer than the average 690,000 lost each month in the first quarter. The official unemployment rate rose to 9.7%, the highest since the 1980s although this failed to move the US dollar out of recent ranges against its major currency partners. This week is light for US data with the Fed's beige book, providing a summary of economic conditions across the US, published on Wednesday.
Euro - European Markets
Currency rates for the euro are stronger this morning, climbing against its major Asian and European currency partners with the exception of the Canadian, Australian and New Zealand dollars. The euro is currently valued at 1.43 versus the US dollar and 0.87 versus the pound.
The Sentix investor confidence survey has improved from -17 to -14 in the eurozone, reflecting more positive economic sentiment. During the G20 meeting over the weekend European finance ministers called for new banking regulations and Trichet commented that price stability is crucial for the ECB exit strategy. German factory orders are due today with the trade balance released tomorrow.
Other Currencies - Highlights
Currency rates for the Australian and New Zealand dollars rose this morning, riding a wave of global confidence as more countries are expected to emerge from recession in the third quarter. New Zealand's treasury department has announced the economy is expected to expand in the third quarter as an improved housing market and retail sales show signs of growth. The New Zealand and Australian dollars are currently trading at USD0.69 and USD0.85 respectively.
The Brazilian economy is also said to be making a "sound" economic recovery, led by rising retail sales and domestic growth. Brazilian central bank president Meirelles claimed at the G20 meeting that stimulus measures are taking effect, with unemployment and domestic demand improving. Currency rates for the Brazilian real are currently at USD0.54.