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Currency update, September 14 - sterling performs well against US dollar

Published:  14 September, 2010

Sterling performed well against the US dollar yesterday as positive Chinese data and new banking rules helped boost risk appetite amongst global investors.

Currency Rates
EURO/GBP - 1.198
US$/GBP - 1.540
CHF/GBP - 1.545
CAN$/GBP - 1.585
AUS$/GBP - 1.651
ZAR/GBP - 11.017
JPY/GBP - 128.27
HKD/GBP - 11.965
NZD/GBP - 2.118
US$/EURO - 1.285
HUF/GBP - 340.67

Sterling gained 0.5% against a generally weaker US dollar to hit $1.5488 as sentiment towards the pound was positive throughout the day's trading. There was very little data out but the impetus came from Strong Chinese data that showed Chinese factory data was strong - despite efforts by the Chinese government to curb the buoyant economy and avoid an asset bubble. As a result, investors felt happier taking risks and moved funds out of US dollars and into 'riskier' currencies. In terms of data, there is inflation data released later this morning which will be very closely watched as many analysts fear a 'double dip' recession is looming in the UK. Any sign of this in the inflation figures and we will likely see sterling suffer.

In the Euro zone, the single currency held firm against sterling throughout the day with risk appetite seeing more demand for the euro than sterling. In Europe, risk appetite was helped by the announcement of the new Basel rules on capital adequacy. Known as 'Basel III', the rules force banks to almost treble the amount of capital they must hold on reserve in order to avoid a repeat of the financial crisis. This clarification has helped investors feel more confident about the recovery and saw European bank shares soar throughout much of the day, bringing European stock exchanges with them. Data wise, there is industrial data released tomorrow that is expected to show a mild improvement.

In the USA, the US dollar headed for its biggest fall against the euro since early July 15th as global risk appetite boosted high yield 'riskier' currencies. In addition, the new banking rules saw the single recovery receive an added boost and the US dollar slipped above $1.28/€1 for the first time since July. In terms of data, there is key monthly retail sales data that is expected to show a slight improvement. If it doesn't, expect the US dollar to strengthen as investors look to move back into safer haven currencies.

Elsewhere, the Canadian dollar continues to hold its ground against other major currencies after last week's interest rate hike and a strong employment report last week. Many traders expect a further hike in interest rates in October which is in clear contrast to other central banks around the world which are holding rates or potentially looking at injecting further money into the economy. Canada's booming economy (similar to Australia) is as a result of strong demand for commodities - especially from China.

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