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Pound resilient currency news this week
13 August 2012

Despite last week's treacherous UK data, including downgraded growth forecasts and a record trade balance, the Pound held up against most major currencies last week. Whether Olympic fever has filtered through to the markets, or simply that the UK is seen as the best of a bad bunch for international investors, exchange rates were remarkably resilient in the face of depressing economic figures which would usually send sterling ruthlessly tumbling.

This week we have more potential problems for the UK and the Pound. Tomorrow sees the main monthly inflation figure, on Wednesday we have unemployment and the Bank of England minutes, and on Thursday July's retail sales figures. Falling inflation, while good for economic targets, is sterling-negative, as it gives the Bank of England more scope to cut interest rates or increase QE. The Pound's saving grace last week was that Governer Mervyn King ruled out a short term interest rate cut, but the Bank's minutes could adjust that view.

In Europe, many parliaments are on summer recess, but we have important figures due out in the guise of GDP (Tue) and inflation (Thu). Behind the scenes, a senior aide to Angela Merkel stated this morning that Germany would not hesitate to veto further aid to Greece if there were signs of the bailout conditions not being met - as we build up to September's decisions on the €130bn payment needed to effectively keep Greece in the Euro.

For the US Dollar, retail sales tomorrow and inflation on Wednesday are likely to have a bearing on USD rates and pegged currencies such as the UAE Dirham. Completing the major inflation releases will be the Canadian figure on Friday afternoon.

Elswhere last week we saw improvements for rates for buying Swiss Francs, Egyptian Pounds and Thai Baht towards the end of the week.

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