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Sterling falls against euro due to interest rate rise speculation

Published:  14 January, 2011

Sterling fell against a stronger euro yesterday, but hit a one month high against the US dollar.

Sterling fell against a stronger euro yesterday, but hit a one month high against the US dollar.


Currency rates

EURO/GBP - 1.1777

US$/GBP - 1.5834
- 1.5227
- 1.5722
- 1.5887
- 10.8070
- 130.521
- 12.3171
- 2.0604
- 10.5800
- 1.3448


It was helped by speculation that UK interest rates may rise sooner than expected and following weaker than expected US data. With the Bank of England keeping interest rates on hold at record lows of 0.5%, many feel that consistently high inflation will pressure the central bank to raise interest rates later this year. The minutes from yesterday's meeting are due on January 26t and will be watched very closely for any sign of the Committee's intent. Sterling fell against the euro after a strong Spanish bond auction and positive comments from ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet sparked investors to cover short positions by buying back euros that had been sold. Manufacturing data beat expectations, coming in at 0.6% against an expectation of 0.5%. In terms of data, there is key producer price inflation today which will give interesting insight into inflation for the rest of the year.

In the euro zone, the euro jumped 1% against the US dollar and sterling as ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet issued a warning about short term inflationary pressures in the region. A Spanish bond auction went far better than expected and helped ease concerns that Spain would join Ireland, Greece and possibly Portugal in the bail out club. 

In the USA, poor US data helped see the euro strengthen by 1% against the US dollar. Figures showed 445,000 new claimants for unemployment insurance against an expectation of 400,000. In addition, food and energy costs saw producer prices rise and indicated fresh headwinds for an economy that had started to show signs of a fresh recovery. However, a rise in exports helped reduce the US trade deficit in November. 

Elsewhere, an emergency meeting of Swiss trades union and industry representatives triggered heavy selling of the Swiss franc and saw it drop to the lowest level since mid-December.

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