The pound rose to its strongest in nearly three weeks against a depleted euro this morning in the currency exchange markets on the back of yesterday’s strong jobs data.
Pound Sterling – UK Markets
Wednesday’s data helped push the pound to a strong position this morning against a weakened euro but traders were cautious before today’s public finance figures. However, the data showed UK public finances deteriorated by less than economists had forecast in February, which kept the pound strong in the global currency exchange markets.
At 1000 GMT sterling traded at 1.1171 against the euro and 1.5275 versus the US dollar.
Good data has contributed to the view that the UK economy may be recovering better than previously thought, lessening the chances that the Bank of England will opt to expand asset purchases under its quantitative easing programme.
US Dollar – US Markets
The US Unemployment Claims, due for release at 1230 GMT is the primary publication that is set to determine the level of the dollar. At 1012 the dollar traded at EUR0.7313 and GBP 0.6546.
The greenback remained under selling pressure yesterday after the US Federal Reserve held its pledge to keep interest rates low for an extended period, prompting investors to snap up growth-sensitive assets.
Looking ahead to today, there are several news releases coming out of the States, including the Core CPI, Philly Fed Manufacturing Index and the aforementioned Unemployment Claims. Better-than-expected results may help the dollar recover some of yesterday's losses against the Aussie and the Canadian dollar.
Euro – European Markets
The euro weakened for a second day against major currencies amid concern Greece will fail to secure financial assistance from the European Union, reducing the appeal of assets in the 16-nation region.
Michael Meister, the chief finance spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party, said yesterday that Greece should turn to the International Monetary Fund if it needs aid, signaling a rift with other European leaders.
At 1013 the euro’s currency exchange rate against the pound was 0.8951 and 1.3673 versus the dollar.
Problems in Greece are having a significant effect on the euro’s progress in the world currency exchange playground, so it would be advisable to keep track of any further developments.
Other Currencies – Highlights
The Swiss franc rose against the euro, capping its longest winning streak since September; amid speculation the Swiss National Bank is relaxing its resistance to the currency’s gains.
Meanwhile the declines in Canada’s dollar were limited on speculation higher consumer prices will spur policy makers to increase borrowing costs.
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