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Sterling has mixed week as risk appetite fluctuates

Published:  15 June, 2012

Sterling had a mixed week staying fairly range bound against the majority of currencies as risk appetite and risk aversion fluctuated.

Sterling had a mixed week staying fairly range bound against the majority of currencies as risk appetite and risk aversion fluctuated.

Currency rates - June 15

This week - (Last week)
EURO/GBP 1.2302 - (EURO/GBP 1.2367)
US$/GBP 1.5534 - (US$/GBP 1.5449)
CHF/GBP 1.4778 - (CHF/GBP 1.4857)
CAN$/GBP 1.5903 - (CAN$/GBP 1.5939)
AUS$/GBP 1.5512 - (AUS$/GBP 1.5679)
ZAR/GBP 13.0204 - (ZAR/GBP 12.9965)
JPY/GBP 122.56 - (JPY/GBP 122.45)
HKD/GBP 12.0542 - (HKD/GBP 11.9841)
NZD/GBP 1.9834 - (NZD/GBP 2.0236)
SEK/GBP 10.901 - (SEK/GBP 11.104)
AED/GBP 5.7051 - (AED/GBP 5.6710)
US$/EURO 1.2624 - (US$/EURO 1.2486)
INR/GBP 86.61 - (INR/GBP 85.61)

The main data out this week was the monthly manufacturing production figures which were much worse than expected, leading to speculation that the UK could fall into a deeper recession meaning further quantitative easing could be required to try and boost the economy. Today, there is very little data on the UK's economic calendar except Trade Balance data which may give some further indication into the state of the economy. Expect the markets to be very jittery today in the final day of trading before this weekend's general election in Greece. Investors are very tentative/worried about what Monday may bring.

It has been a turbulent week in Europe with the euro starting the week relatively strong following the announcement that Spain had requested a €100 billion bailout to help its struggling banking sector. However, investors were left unimpressed by the details surrounding the bailout and Fitch (one of the big three credit rating agencies) downgraded Spain's credit rating by two notches (placing it just three levels above 'junk' bond status) whilst also downgrading 18 Spanish banks. More worries came as Spanish benchmark 10 year bonds yields hit 7% on Thursday (the first time since the euro was formed); whilst Italian bond yields are also pushed higher. The President of the European Central Bank is speaking first thing this morning; but, the markets will be on edge with the Greek election on Sunday potentially deciding Greece's future within the Eurozone and the make-up of the Eurozone.

The US dollar has been fairly weak following a string of bad data released including unemployment claims, retail sales figures and the monthly Producer Price Index (PPI) which were all below markets estimates, whilst core inflation data came in as expected.  Much like in the UK, the weaker than expected data released led to investors speculating that the Federal bank may look to inject more money into the economy.

Elsewhere, the Australian and New Zealand dollar performed well this week strengthening against the majority of currencies following the positive Chinese trade balance data released on Sunday. This week, the Reserve bank of New Zealand and Swiss National Bank decided to keep interest rates on hold.

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