Good morning and welcome to today’s foreign exchange market commentary on Monday, the 30th of January.
The annual World Economic Forum’s talk show in Davos is over. This event, touted as a brainstorming event for the world’s elite, didn’t deliver much. Apparently the EU slowdown has affected investors’ and politicians’ enthusiasm in equal measures. Unfortunately, no body spoke much about Greek as the PSI negotiations enter the second week without much of a success.
Meanwhile the political temperature within the region went up as a document released over the weekend showed a German proposal that mandates all fiscal (tax income and government spending) decisions approved by the Greek parliament be routed through a ‘Budget Commissioner’. This caused angry reactions from Athens, but Germany remains firm and has made it a precondition before releasing the next tranche of €130 billion bailout money. Though it may hurt Greece’s sovereign pride, it’ll certainly make the country’s economy stronger in the long run.
CURRENCY RATES OVERVIEW
GBP/EURO – 1.1922
GBP/US$ – 1.5681
GBP/CAN$ – 1.5764
GBP/AUS$ – 1.4847
GBP/ZAR – 12.28
GBP/JPY – 120.88
GBP/PLN – 5.0746
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EURO: A slower than expected growth rate of the US economy saw the dollar weakening against major global currencies. This, coupled with hopes of an impending Greek debt swap deal this week pushed the single currency to a six-week high against the greenback. European Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn’s comment at Davos that a deal could be reached over the weekend had strengthened the euro further and the common currency rallied to a high of 1.322 against the dollar before settling at 1.3216 on Friday. The euro’s movement today is likely to be decided by the Spanish GDP numbers. A consensus shows the country’s economy shrinking by 0.4 pc in the fourth quarter. The prolonged Greek negotiations have affected the euro overnight and GBP/EUR opens at 1.1925 this morning. The EUR/USD pair sits at 1.3130 this morning.
USD: The greenback slipped on Friday after fourth quarter GDP came lower at of 2.8 pc against the projected 3 pc. The Federal Reserve’s pledge on Thursday to keep interest rates low till 2014 continued to weigh down the greenback on Friday as selling pressure continued. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six currencies, dropped to 78.854 from 79.416 the previous session. The index fell 1.7 pc for the week. The GBP/USD pair opens at 1.5657 this morning.
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Have a great day!