The Pound advanced to its highest level in nine weeks against the Euro as investors speculated on the outcome of today’s Bank of England policy meeting. Against the US Dollar Sterling is trading just off of its highest level since August 2009 as pressure builds on the BoE to raise interest rates after a run of positive data releases.
The US Dollar weakened against the majority of its peers after Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen said that a high degree of monetary accommodation remains warranted given the slack still remaining in the economy. She also warned that the recent slowdown in the US housing market could last longer than previously expected. The currency also lost support as demand for riskier assets improved following comments by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Russian premier called on rebels to postpone their plans for an independence vote while Russian forces withdrew from Ukraine’s border.
The Euro is close to a two-month high against the US Dollar and is firmer against the Pound as investors look ahead to today’s European Central Bank policy meeting. The ECB is widely expected to leave policy unchanged following a rise in inflation and signs that the region’s recovery could be broadening.
The ‘Aussie’ climbed to a three-week high against the US Dollar and other major peers as upbeat domestic employment and strong Chinese trade data lent it support. Official data showed that the number of Australians in work increased by 14,200 last month, beating forecasts for a rise of 6,000. The Chinese data showed that both imports and exports rose in April, confounding forecasts for a fall.
New Zealand Dollar
The New Zealand Dollar is holding steady against most major peers as the currency was boosted by the positive Chinese trade data. With a lack of domestic data events in the US, UK and Europe will likely cause movement in the currency today.
The Canadian Dollar softened against several peers yesterday after data showed that the number of building permits issued in the country fell unexpectedly in March. The value of permits fell by 3%, the lowest figure seen in 13 months.
South African Rand
The Rand is holding steady at its highest level in a month due to stilted trading ahead of the release of results from Wednesday’s general election. With a third of the ballots counted the ruling African National Congress took a clear lead with 59.7% of the votes.