Smart Currency Daily Rates & Comments – 08 December 2010

Smart Currency Daily Rates & Comments – 08 December 2010

Sterling hit the highest level against the US dollar for 2 weeks yesterday as better than expected UK manufacturing figures and a strong GDP estimate helped point towards a continued economic recovery. Manufacturing figures showed that output rose by 0.6% in October – double what was expected. In addition, data from the National Institute for Social and Economic Research estimated that the UK had grown by 0.6% in the 3 months to November. In a bizarre coincidence of the “0.6’s”, sterling finished the day up 0.6% against the US dollar at just over $1.58/£1 as the figures detracted from the possibility of further Quantitative Easing. There is house price data and CBI order expectation figures released today so call in now for a live price.

In the Euro zone, optimism that the Irish parliament would approve the emergency budget saw the euro recover recent losses against the US dollar in early trading. However, when Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan began his presentation, the euro began to slide again. The budget sets out plans to cut €6bn of spending out of an economy that is still reeling from a prolonged recession. Whilst the Irish budget may alleviate some political concerns, European Finance Ministers failed to outline in any detail their plans to help stabilise European credit markets and avoid a wholesale collapse of the single currency. This is still the major market mover, so speak to one of the team about protecting yourself against currency risk.

In the USA, the US dollar started the day poorly as investors moved away from the safe haven currency as risk appetite improved. Buoyed by the renewal of tax breaks in the USA that were expected to stimulate spending in the economy and optimism over the Irish budget, investors looked elsewhere for higher yielding investments. US stock markets also performed well, but the US dollar gained against the euro after the Irish budget presentation started. It is a relatively quiet day on the data front, but there are some key Chinese figures released which could see some market volatility – ensure you don’t lose out.

Elsewhere, the boost in risk appetite saw emerging market currencies strengthen, with the Brazilian real and Chilean peso close to 2 month highs against the US dollar. Ensure you are adequately protected in the run up to Christmas and 2011 by talking to one of the currency specialists here at Smart sooner rather than later.

EURO/GBP – 1.1894
US$/GBP – 1.5708
CHF/GBP – 1.5514
CAN$/GBP – 1.5901
AUS$/GBP – 1.6049
ZAR/GBP – 10.9562
JPY/GBP – 131.91
HKD/GBP – 12.2056
NZD/GBP – 2.0941
SEK/GBP – 10.8941
US$/EURO – 1.32018

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