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Currency Market News

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Currency Report 6th August 2012
06 August 2012

Sterling fell back last week as we saw more disappointing figures for the UK economy - in the dominant UK services sector growth was lower than expected while manufacturing growth was the worst for 3 years. On Thursday the Bank of England kept interest rates and QE on hold, but surely it is a matter of time before one or both are changed in a direction which would not help sterling.

For the Euro, ECB President Draghi's speech on Thursday was highly anticipated after his comments that the central bank would do whatever is necessary to stop Spanish and Italian debt prices rising further. In the end there didn't seem to be any new policy, but the Euro strengthened on Thursday and Friday giving us lower exchange rates for buying the single currency. The battle between bond markets and European policy, which has continued all year, could come to a head in September and if the ECB do start directly buying bonds, we could see recent patterns of cheaper Euros being reversed.

The US Dollar (and pegged currencies such as UAE Dirham) gained some value early last week, but fell back on Friday (improving rates for buying USD) despite the main monthly labour market figures showing more jobs than expected being created in the US economy. The Pound fell against the South African Rand, New Zealand and Australian Dollars, and Thai Baht during the course of the week.

This week the European Central Bank's monthly report on Thursday will be of interest, and we have unemployment figures from New Zealand, Australia and Canada. With markets particularly volatile at the moment, if you have a requirement coming up and would like to look at options for fixing your exchange rate in advance, do consider using a Forward Contract to achieve this.

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