The pound is down this morning after UK house price data came out worse than expected whilst fears continue to ease in the Euro-Zone over the Greek situation.
Pound Sterling – UK Markets
Sterling dipped below USD1.50 this morning as data showed a drop in UK house prices, trading at 1.4987 at 0923 GMT.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said its monthly house price balance dropped to +17 in February from a downwardly revised +31 in January. The data showed that February's decline was the sharpest one-month fall since April 2008.
Traders have also been unnerved by a ratings agency report on the impact of the eventual reduction of state aid on British banks.
US Dollar – US Markets
The dollar has taken a downturn lately, following Friday's modest rise, and this morning traded at 0.7349 against the euro.
US currency gained a bit of ground yesterday; the dollar index climbed 0.3% to 80.44 as risk appetite faded and traders awaited news about Greece's ability to resolve its debt crisis.
Since today's economic calendar will be void of any news from the United States, the chances of any major market corrections today are slim.
Euro – European Markets
Reassuring comments from French President Nicolas Sarkozy went some way to sooth recent concerns about economic stability in the Euro-Zone.
The easing of debt concerns in Greece has a number of forex market participants buying back into the European single currency, which at 0931 GMT traded at 0.9078 versus the pound.
The head of the International Monetary Fund also said Greece's financial woes are not expected to spread to other Euro-Zone countries with high debt levels. Whether Europe can sustain this bullish momentum is yet to be seen, but so far the regional currencies appear to be holding their gains.
Other Currencies – Highlights
The Japanese yen rose against all 16 of its major counterparts, particularly the British pound, on speculation that companies are repatriating profits before the end of the fiscal year in April.
The yen rose against the euro and the dollar as the MSCI World Index of shares snapped two days of gains, trimming Japanese investor demand for higher-yielding assets outside the country.
Sterling Rises on Hopes of EU Softening Tone on Backstop