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20th October 2017 - Exchange Rates News written by TorFX for

20th October 2017 News: US Dollar (USD) Boosted as Trump’s Tax Plans Take First Step

Pound Sterling (GBP)

The Pound tumbled against most major currencies on Thursday as investors reacted to a disappointing UK retail sales report.

Retail sales results were forecast to drop in September, but the actual figures came in even lower than expected. Yearly retail sales slowed from 2.3% to 1.2%, while the monthly figure fell from growth of 0.9% to contraction of -0.7%.

The results were disappointing enough to weigh on hopes that the Bank of England (BoE) is preparing to hike UK interest rates within the coming months. Poor UK retail performance indicates that the pay squeeze is having a negative impact on consumer activity and, by extension, indicates that Britain’s economy is not as resilient as expected.

US Dollar (USD)

By Friday GBP/USD was trending near its worst levels in over a week.

While UK news held the Pound down, the US Dollar continued its rally on high Federal Reserve interest rate hike bets and market optimism about the chances of US tax reform.

On Thursday, the US Senate started the process of working on tax reform by passing a budget issued by US President Donald Trump. The possibility of tax reform has excited investors since Trump’s election in 2016 but the plan still has many hurdles ahead of it. Fed rate hike bets remain at over 90%, keeping the US Dollar buoyed.

Euro (EUR)

The Pound to Euro exchange rate tumbled yesterday, largely due to economic and political concerns weighing heavily on the Pound.

Demand for the Euro was solid despite market anxiety about tensions between Spain and Catalonia. The Spanish government recently indicated that it would move to activate ‘Article 155’ of Spain’s constitution over the weekend and take legal control over Catalonia.

Euro traders are calm despite the possibility of more tension between Spain and Catalonian separatists. Instead, the focus has largely shifted towards next week’s European Central Bank (ECB) policy decision, which is expected to see the ECB announce its plans for unwinding quantitative easing (QE).

Australian Dollar (AUD)

The Pound to Australian Dollar exchange rate slipped during Thursday’s session as poor UK data dragged the Pound lower.

Meanwhile, weakness in its rivals left the Australian Dollar as one of the day’s most appealing risk-correlated currencies, and it also benefited from a stronger-than-expected domestic job market report.

New Zealand Dollar (NZD)

The Pound to New Zealand Dollar exchange rate surged following the announcement of New Zealand’s new ruling coalition and has held near its best levels since May despite Pound weakness.

A lack of clarity on some of the new NZ government’s economic policies has left market uncertainty high, so the New Zealand Dollar could face considerable pressure in the coming weeks.

Investors may also become disappointed with the coalition government’s potential plans to borrow and spend more or raise the minimum wage.

Canadian Dollar (CAD)

The Pound to Canadian Dollar exchange rate continued to slip yesterday, despite mixed demand for the ‘Loonie’. The Pound continued to be sold on Brexit and Bank of England (BoE) concerns.

While the Canadian Dollar was sold slightly yesterday due to falling prices of oil, Canada’s most lucrative commodity, the ‘Loonie’ was able to hold its ground against a weak Pound.

Markets are highly anticipating Canada’s latest retail and inflation stats, set for release on Friday afternoon.

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