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A Tale of Three Economies
21 August 2015

This week has centred around the UK, US and Greece. For the Pound and US Dollar, the news was all about interest rate rise-potential and inflation, with UK CPI inflation coming in above expectation on Tuesday, providing the Pound with some much needed strength following the previous week’s losses – however, the Pound seems to be particularly vulnerable to volatility and gains were to be short-lived. Inflation levels in the UK are predicted by many in the industry to take up to two years to get back to the ideal 2% level despite the latest positive inflation figures.

US inflation figures came in short of the desired and expected levels of 0.2%, matching only the standard of 0.1% which, with the consensus of an interest rate hike, to follow shortly in October, hitting USD and subsequently made losses against EUR. The flip side of this was that the Euro, despite ongoing issues surrounding the Greek bailout, gained against Sterling. The single currency and the Greenback are what can be described as the metaphorical see-saw – when one strengthens, the other weakens.

Gains made by Sterling fell away in quite dramatic fashion as retail sales data came in well under the expected levels and the Pound made considerable losses against the Euro, which also made gains after the Greek bailout was ratified by the Germans, although the troubles in Athens are far from over with minor but very much defining decisions still to be made by the EC, the IMF and Germany, whose government were not ALL in total agreement with the agreed policies with a “rebellion” making formal protests.

The race is on to see who, out of the Brits and the Yanks will raise interest rates first and gain a foothold in the currency markets.

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