Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Sterling strengthens against euro and dollar

Published:  01 March, 2012

Sterling performed well yesterday strengthening against both the euro and the dollar as the markets absorbed the news out of Europe and the US.

Sterling performed well yesterday strengthening against both the euro and the dollar as the markets absorbed the news out of Europe and the US.

Currency rates - March 1

EURO/GBP - 1.1949

US$/GBP - 1.5916

CHF/GBP - 1.4405

CAN$/GBP - 1.5741

AUS$/GBP - 1.4818

ZAR/GBP - 11.9384

JPY/GBP - 129.01

HKD/GBP - 12.3396

NZD/GBP - 1.9072

SEK/GBP - 10.5352

AED/GBP - 5.8431

US$/EURO - 1.3312

INR/GBP - 78.28

The main release out of the UK today is the manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI). Volatility and uncertainty continues to dominate the markets and yesterday's gains can quickly turn into today's losses.



The euro performed poorly yesterday as the ECB offered another €529.5 billion in low interest loans to 800 financial institutions which is more than the markets had anticipated. Rumours spread that the ECB had bought Portuguese bonds yesterday as they underperformed despite the bond purchasing program supposedly being on hold. On a more positive note, the Greek parliament did manage to ratify a €3.2 billion package of further spending cuts essential to securing the first instalment of its bailout fund before the March 20 deadline.  Furthermore, the Italian prime minister stated that he believes that the worst may be over for the Euro zone.



Out of the US yesterday, the preliminary GDP data released was better than expected coming in at 3.0% dampening the speculation of a slowdown this year. This led to the US$ losing ground against sterling as risk appetite increased. This was followed by the Chairman of the Federal bank expressing his belief that the job market has showed "positive developments" and is recovering faster than anticipated; but, he also noted that it is still "far from normal". The overwhelming rhetoric was that despite the positive sentiment coming from the US at present, the plan is to keep interest rates low until late 2014; but, also suggesting that there was no plan for further quantitative easing for the time being. There is a raft of data released in the US today which includes unemployment data, manufacturing PMI and the chairman of the Federal Bank is speaking once more.



Elsewhere, New Zealand's building permits rose more than anticipated and the business confidence in the country also rose. Australia retail sales rose in January; but, in line with expectations and Switzerland's economic barometer figures came in as anticipated. Furthermore, the IMF  announced that it approved of currency intervention for developing countries paving the way for central banks to manipulate currency exchange rates when needed. Out late last night data released included building approval and private capital expenditure figures from Australia; as well as the Chinese manufacturing PMI figures were announced.


Supplied by Nick Ryder of Smart Currency Exchange, the currency partner to Harpers Wine and Spirit who have teamed up with Smart to provide readers with a free bespoke currency service. Go to for more information or call on 0207 898 0500.