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Rand investors spooked into the arms of safer havens

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Pound Sterling

The Pound strengthened near to a four-month high against the US Dollar as investors await the release of data which is expected to show that the UK economy expanded in the second quarter. Against the Euro, Sterling advanced for the first time in three days. UK gross domestic product predicted to expand by 0.6% for the second quarter of 2013 and by 1.4% on a year-by-year basis.

US Dollar

The ‘Greenback’ is trading softer against its peers as investors take a wait-and-see approach for the session. A number of key data releases are due for the major currencies, with each having the potential to create volatility in the markets. The latest US Durable Goods Orders and initial jobless claims data is due for release in the afternoon.

The Euro

The Euro has made gains against the majority of its peers as the single currency continues to receive strength from yesterday’s surprisingly positive PMI data. Today sees the release of more data releases which economists are expecting will show that business confidence in Germany rose for a third consecutive month in July.

Australian Dollar

The ‘Aussie’ tumbled to a four-and-a-half year low against the New Zealand Dollar after the smaller Oceanic nation’s Central Bank hinted at a need to remove stimulus causing a divergence of monetary policy between the two countries. As a result the ‘Aussie’ fell to its lowest level since 2008. It also softened against the Pound and Euro.

New Zealand Dollar

The ‘Kiwi’ rose above a four-year high against its Australian counterpart due to a diverging interest rate outlook for the Oceanic neighbours. Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the key rate on hold at 2.5%, lower than Australia’s 2.75%.

Canadian Dollar

The ‘Loonie’ finished weaker against the US Dollar at yesterday’s close before recovering some ground today. The Canadian currency has continued to benefit from Tuesday’s surprisingly robust retail-sales report for May. It then softened due to a broad tide of US Dollar buying.

South African Rand

The Rand weakened against its peers as wage negotiations between South African gold miners and workers appeared to have stalled after unions declared an official wage dispute. Wednesday's declaration by the unions means that two-week-old salary talks, labelled as the toughest since the end of apartheid in 1994, will now be held up by a 30-day process of mediation that could end in an industry-wide strike.

The move spooked investors who sought shelter in safer havens.

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