Daily foreign exchange update
The Euro recovered to reach session highs against the US Dollar and Japanese Yen after news broke that Russian troops in western Russia have returned to their bases. As with the US Dollar the Euro could fall again if the Ukraine situation deteriorates as the day progresses.
The Pound pushed higher against the US Dollar and Euro due to being supported by yesterday’s better-than-expected mortgage approval and manufacturing PMI data. Economists are forecasting that today’s construction PMI data will also show signs of improvement as the UK economy continues to strengthen.
The US Dollar retreated against several major peers after market sentiment improved overnight. Tensions were eased slightly over Ukraine after Russia ordered an end to military exercises in the west of the country. Despite that the situation in the Crimea remains volatile and depending on events there we could see the Dollar rise once more.
The ‘Aussie’ fell against the majority of its peers after the Reserve Bank of Australia maintained interest rates at the record low level of 2.5%. The currency weakened after the Central Bank’s policy makers said that the exchange rate was still too high.
New Zealand Dollar
The New Zealand Dollar regained some ground to trade steadily against the US Dollar due to a slight recovery in market sentiment. Optimism increased after Russia ordered troops engaged in a military exercise back to their bases. Investors are remaining cautious after President Barack Obama said that the USA was considering economic sanctions against Russia.
The Canadian Dollar was down against the Pound but edged higher against the US Dollar due to improved market sentiment. The currency is also finding some support by the rise in the cost of crude oil, Canada’s biggest export. As Russia is one of the world’s largest oil exporters, the price of the commodity jumped due to fears that supplies could be disrupted by the situation in Ukraine.
South African Rand
The Rand recovered some ground after hopes were raised that a peaceful solution to the situation in Ukraine could be achieved. Hopes were raised after Russian troops stood down on Ukraine’s eastern border. Economists are predicting that if the situation is resolved soon then the Rand could back-track from its recent weakness.