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Monday 16 May 2011, 11:04am

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Last night the European governments and IMF agreed to a EUR 85 billion bailout for Ireland, the bailout will go through in the first few weeks of December prior to the Irish budget. EUR 35 billion of the total will be going toward Irish banks at a rate of 5.8%, higher than the 5.2% Greece had to pay during summer.

Interestingly, corporation tax is being held at 12.5%. Surprisingly, the bailout release did not mention senior debt holders and whether they would be bearing some of the burden.

The announcement attracted some short Euro covering in the Asian session, however by late morning in London the Euro had been pushed back to new lows. The markets are still concerned Spain and Portugal are soon to follow. Some economists have estimates funding requirements for Portugal and Spain combined would be a further EUR 289 billion.

Monday 29 November 2010, 11:48am

The Euro continued to suffer on the back of weak German factory orders coming in worse than expected showing a fall of 2.2% m/m versus consensus forecasts of an increase of 0.5% m/m.

As investors dived back into the dollar, the euro and sterling both felt the pressure. Yesterday EURUSD was sold from a high of 1.2814 to a low of 1.2676, GBPEUR rallied nearly 200 points from 1.1981 to 1.2179. Sterling remains volatile, yesterday traders pushed cable down to 1.5296. This morning we have seen a bounce back, against the dollar the pound had traded back up to 1.5484.

As a result of the somewhat weak recent UK data, sterling seems to be consolidating at current levels. However, from a longer term perspective, sterling continues to look buoyant against other major currencies. It is likely we will see some buying interest at slightly lower levels and a new rally is expected to develop.

Wednesday 08 September 2010, 10:30am

Today the Bank of England confirmed it is now even more pessimistic about the outlook for UK economic growth and believes it is likely inflation will remain above the 2% target for longer than initially expected. Lending to businesses remains subdued and the recovery is likely to be relatively slow but steady.

Three months ago growth forecasts for next year were estimated at 3.4%, this has now been reduced to 2.5%. This morning Sterling has been sold to its lowest level in a week down to 1.5668 against the US dollar.

The bank also confirmed it would be many years before bank balance sheets and fiscal positions returned to anything like normal. The bank’s comments signal that the UK economy may need more emergency stimulus and interest rates will remain at their lows for longer than expected.

Wednesday 11 August 2010, 02:29pm

This morning sterling is trading above 1.59 against the US dollar after a raft of strong earnings releases and positive economic data yesterday. A great start to the week, it looks like risk appetite is entering the financial markets again. The move in global equities is filtering through to FX markets and as a result sterling remains buoyant.

During the middle of July Sterling found support against the Euro around the 1.1750 region. The cross is now comfortably trading above 1.20 and looks firm.

The appetite for riskier currencies is evidence of a strong financial sector, this is especially true in the UK. It seems that many analyst have been undervaluing sterling for some time, the recent movements is a result of revaluation.

As the US economy begins to lose steam, the dollar is beginning to lose ground. The signs of weaker US growth have become apparent in recent weeks.

Tuesday 03 August 2010, 11:02am

Sterling instantly began its rally at 9:30am this morning on the release of the second quarter GDP data. The figure was expected at 0.6% but came in nearly twice as high at 1.1%. Sterling has not looked back since.

The pound is now trading at new highs for the week against the US dollar and the Euro. The UK economy seems to be picking up at a greater pace than its counterparts.

The result today reflects the fastest expansion for 4 years for the UK economy lead by manufacturing, services and construction.

Markets are awaiting the results of the European stress tests expected to be released at 5pm UK time. The EU regulators are examining the strength of banks to determine if they can survive potential losses on sovereign bond holdings. They are hoping the results will reassure investors about the health of the financial institutions. The Euro has been under pressure throughout the day against sterling and the US dollar. This afternoon the pound is back above 1.20 against the Euro.

Friday 23 July 2010, 04:10pm

This morning sterling has continued to rally as unemployment falls. Jobless benefit claims has dropped to their lowest level in a year. This is a positive sign, the UK economy is beginning to pick up pace.

Although it may appear the labour market is beginning to show signs of improvement, investors should be cautious. The new government has begun to implement austerity measures, public sector job losses will soon begin to filter through. It is possible we may see further deterioration in the labour market in the coming months.

Sterling rallied on Tuesday as UK CPI came in at 3.2% in June and year on year CPI stayed above the 2% target. The rally was the result of investor speculating the Bank of England will be pressured to raise interest rates earlier than expected.

This morning cable has broken above the 1.52-1.5240 resistance zone. Against the Euro, the pound looks like it has found some support around the 1.19 level.

Wednesday 14 July 2010, 10:12am

As the week draws to a close market sentiment remains poor. The US dollar has been sold to an 8 week low against sterling on speculation that the US economic recovery is slowing. Both Sterling and Euro have gained against the US dollar. US economic data is not helping the situation, the pressure is back on manufacturing whilst jobless claims remain buoyant.

Payrolls in the US fell 125,000 in June for the first time this year. The pace of hiring indicates it will take years for the US to recover the more than 8 million jobs lost during the recession. This will clearly have a knock on effect in spending.

Clearly, post-election sterling is looking bullish. Political uncertainly and fiscal issues are off the radar. The new government has made clear intentions to take control of the deficit and the FX markets have rewards their decision to do so. On Tuesday, the pound traded within touching distance of 1.24 against the Euro. Since then we have seen some profit taking and the Euro looking slightly firmer against other major currencies.

Friday 02 July 2010, 04:20pm

The budget report was widely accepted in a positive manner, Sterling has been rallying since the announcement. The bond markets have also been pushing up and rating agencies gave the report a warm welcome.

Moody’s Investor Services said the UK budget announced yesterday is “supportive” of the country’s AAA credit rating. Market participants are beginning to feel confident the government is taking rapid steps to tackle the UK budget deficit.

It seems that the new chancellors determined actions are supporting UK credibility in financial markets. Against the Euro, sterling is currently trading within touching distance to this year’s high at 1.2177. Cable has also perked up, trading at the highs for the month. It is possible we will see a retest of the 1.5000 level in the coming days.

However, from a longer term perspective, it is likely that the significant fiscal cuts on growth in the UK economy will hinder support for sterling.

Wednesday 23 June 2010, 02:41pm

The sterling rally against the Euro is beginning to feel the pressure around the 1.1800-1.1850 level. Last week the pound opened close the highs around the 1.1750 regions and was sold down to the 1.14 level at one point before finishing the week at 1.15.

Against the dollar, last week was the first positive finish for the Euro after 4 weeks of continuous aggressive selling. After trading below the 2008 low, the Euro found support around 1.2150.

In the UK the major news was the CPI figures, inflation at 3.7% well above the 2% target. The Bank of England is convinced the move is temporary and inflation will come back into line. Last week was a fairly range bound week for cable, trading between 1.4250 and 1.45. Uncertainty remains in the UK economy and traders will be examining plans by the coalition government to cut the initial £6bn of deficit.

Monday 24 May 2010, 11:13am

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