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10th February 2017 - Exchange Rates News written by TorFX for Exchange-Rate.net
The Pound put in another strong performance on Thursday, which was disproportionate to the amount of good UK news released throughout the day. GBP's gains were largely due to the weakness of rival currencies.
Thursday's UK news included a house price report from RICS, which improved from 23% to 25% in January and beat projections of a slip to 22%. Sterling shed some of its gains later in the day however, when it was confirmed that Bank of England (BoE) hawk Kristin Forbes would be stepping down from her role on the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) in June. This announcement came just days after Forbes stated she would be willing to support an interest rate hike in the foreseeable future if inflation continued rising.
However, Sterling held its ground with more force following the publication of Friday's UK December trade deficit and production data which came in better than expected.
The Pound to US Dollar exchange rate trended largely flatly on Thursday and by Friday morning had dipped by around -0.2%.
While the 'Greenback' reached its best weekly level earlier in the day due to market frustration at the lack of fiscal policy from US President Trump thus far, the pair slipped back to the week's opening levels by the end of the day due to disappointment that BoE policymaker Forbes was stepping down.
On Thursday evening, Trump stated he would be announcing a major tax plan in the coming weeks. As a result, demand for the US Dollar finally improved on Friday morning.
The Pound to Euro exchange rate reached a new weekly high earlier on Thursday, but by the end of the day and on Friday morning the pair had slipped as Bank of England (BoE) interest rate hike hopes faded.
Despite this, GBP/EUR has been able to sustain most of its weekly gains due to weakness in the Euro. Concerns are growing in the Eurozone that anti-EU French Presidential candidate Marine Le Pen could win this year's election and begin to remove France from the EU and the Eurozone.
Grexit fears have also bubbled to the surface again this week. Many analysts, including those belonging to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) believe further Greek bailouts could be unsustainable unless the nation is given some debt relief by the Eurozone - which some Eurozone critics have dismissed.
The Pound to Australian Dollar exchange rate held firm for most of Thursday's trade session but by Friday morning was slumping and on track to lose around half of the week's gains.
Strong trade data seen overnight gave the Australian Dollar a new boost. Prices of iron ore, Australia's most lucrative commodity, improved to their best levels since October 2014 - US$83.84 per tonne. News that China's January iron ore imports had printed the 2nd highest score on record also bolstered demand for the commodity and the 'Aussie'.
The Pound to New Zealand Dollar exchange rate surged on Thursday to reach its best levels since early-January. This was largely due to disappointment in the Reserve Bank of New Zealand's (RBNZ) dovish tone towards monetary policy this week.
However, the exchange rate slipped on Friday morning as the Pound was sold from its highs against many rivals.
The Pound to Canadian Dollar exchange rate fell back from its weekly highs on Thursday and continued slipping on Friday morning as investors firmed on the Canadian Dollar ahead of Friday's Canadian employment results.
Canada's unemployment rate is predicted to remain at 6.9% in January, but employment itself is predicted to fall by -5,000. If the report beats expectations, the Canadian Dollar could extend its gains.
Prices of oil, Canada's primary commodity export, also stabilised on Thursday and Friday, giving the Canadian Dollar its most favourable position all week.
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