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The Pound has strengthened for a fourth consecutive session against the Euro and made gains against the majority of its most traded peers after data showed that UK house prices rose to their highest level in six-years. The Bank of England is also due to release mortgage approval data which is expected to have risen to its highest level in five-years. The currency is also benefitting from the market concern regarding the US debt ceiling and the continuing weakness in the Eurozone.
The ‘Greenback’ has fallen to a one-month low against the Japanese Yen but made slight gains against many of its other peers as investors seek safe havens as a possible shutdown of the US government looms. Congress must pass a short-term budget by midnight today in order to keep the government open. President Obama is facing stiff resistance from the Republicans who oppose his planned healthcare law. Demand for the safer Dollar was also bolstered by the release of weaker-than-expected manufacturing data out of China.
The Euro is weaker against the Pound and has fallen against the US Dollar as investors seek safer havens elsewhere following the release of worse-than-expected data out of China and the comments made by economists that the Eurozone’s unemployment looks set to remain at record highs. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development expects the jobless rate in nations such as Greece and Spain to remain above 25%.
The ‘Aussie’ tumbled against the majority of its most traded peers due to release of weaker-than-expected data out of China. The Asian nation is Australia’s biggest trading partner so any weakness in its economy has a negative impact on the ‘Aussie’. Economists had been expecting China’s purchasing managers index to rise to 51.2, instead it only edged upwards to 50.2.
New Zealand Dollar
The ‘Kiwi’ fell against most of its peers as concerns over the US budget damaged risk appetite. The currency managed to recover some of its losses however after data showed that business confidence in New Zealand climbed to a new five-year high.
The Canadian Dollar is little moved against its US relation but looks set to weaken as worries over the US budget intensify as the midnight deadline draws closer. The currency also remains under pressure following last week’s revelation that the country’s budget deficit widened in July.
South African Rand
The Rand weakened against the US Dollar on the expectation of weaker-than-expected trade data and as worries over the US debt ceiling impasse bolstered risk aversion. The South African Revenue Service releases the trade data later in the session.