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Sterling has mixed week as risk aversion turns to risk appetite

Published:  13 April, 2012

Sterling had a mixed week as risk aversion turned to risk appetite.

Sterling had a mixed week as risk aversion turned to risk appetite.



Currency rates -  April 13

EURO/GBP - 1.2103

US$/GBP - 1.5936

CHF/GBP - 1.4549

CAN$/GBP - 1.5868

AUS$/GBP - 1.5342

ZAR/GBP - 12.581

JPY/GBP - 129.12

HKD/GBP - 12.3721

NZD/GBP - 1.9225

SEK/GBP - 10.771

AED/GBP - 5.8538

US$/EURO - 1.3170

INR/GBP - 81.91

It very nearly reached an 18 month high against the euro on Thursday before retracing whilst strengthening steadily against the US dollar. Data this week showed that the UK's trade gap widened more than expected; dampening the present economic outlook.



The euro performed poorly this week as fears surrounding the state of the Spanish economy shook the market. Rumours started to circulate that if the economic situation in Spain worsened, it may potentially need a bail out (Spain being the country always deemed "too big to bail out").



The US dollar started the week fairly strong as risk aversion was driving the market; however, the shift to risk appetite saw the US dollar weaken off against the majority of currencies as the week progressed. Yesterday saw the release of poor unemployment data, mirroring the worse than expected Non-Farm Pay rolls data from last Friday; this is of some concern as it was the labour market that had been leading the US economic recovery of late. Furthermore, policy makers in the US also indicated that interest rates would remain low.



Elsewhere, the commodity backed currencies were the best performers this week as risk appetite began to drive the market. The Australian dollar performed particularly well as unemployment figures released beat market expectations. China unexpectedly posted a trade balance surplus of US$ 5.4 billion on Tuesday; but, this was driven by a lack of imports which stoked fears of a global slowdown. Much stronger than expected levels of bank lending in China released yesterday gave a boost to the commodity backed currencies. A raft of data from China was released first thing this morning which includes the influential GDP figures.