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The Pound retreated against the US Dollar but remains close to the nine-month high it achieved in yesterday’s session. Against the Euro, Sterling also fell. The reason for the currency’s decline was the easing of political tensions in Italy and expectations that today’s UK Services PMI data will show a slight fall. House price data also showed that UK house prices increased at a slower pace than expected in September.
The ‘Greenback’ tumbled to an eight-month low against the Euro but managed to recover some ground against several other currencies. The Dollar is likely to remain under heavy pressure throughout the day after House Speaker John Boehner hinted at a lack of progress in negotiations over resolving the political impasse in Congress. Investors are also growing increasingly concerned as to what impact the government shutdown will have on talks over raising the nation’s debt ceiling. If the world’s largest economy is to avoid defaulting on its debts then a deal must be made by October 17th. If it doesn’t then the impacts are likely to be highly negative for the global economy.
The Euro rallied against the majority of its peers after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi refrained from introducing additional stimulus measures to boost the region’s economic recovery. The ECB also chose to maintain interest rates at the record low level of 0.5%. The single currency also received support after Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta won a parliamentary confidence vote; defeating Silvio Berlusconi’s plans to force the country to hold snap elections.
The ‘Aussie’ has rallied against most of its peers due to the release of better-than-expected PMI data out of China. The world’s second largest economy and Australia’s biggest trading partner reported that its services sector made its best performance since March. The ongoing pressure on the US Dollar also benefitted the Australian currency.
New Zealand Dollar
The ‘Kiwi’ rose against its peers in early trading after Reserve Bank of New Zealand Governor Graeme Wheeler said that he would raise interest rates more aggressively if mortgage lending limits don’t curb house-price inflation. The comments eased investor concerns over the nation’s growing housing bubble.
The Canadian Dollar remains softer against its US relation as concerns over the length of the government shutdown in the US persist. Also weighing upon the currency was the fall in oil prices. Investors are concerned over the possible impact on demand for Canada’s biggest export.
South African Rand
The Rand slipped against the US Dollar on Thursday despite the ongoing federal government shutdown and concerns over negotiations regarding the nation’s debt ceiling. The currency’s decline is likely the result of cautious trading ahead of Friday’s US non-farm payrolls data, although if the government shutdown persists until then the data will not be released.