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Dollar and Euro Currency

It was yet another topsy-turvy session in Europe yesterday as Italian politics, or the lack thereof, threatened any semblance of stability that Greek politicians had worked toward over the weekend. There have been frequent calls for Berlusconi’s resignation before yesterday but according to sources the PM was meeting with family to decide his future. This caused risky assets to rally; it must feel bad enough when you’re a company CEO and you leave and the company’s share price rises but what about all world markets gaining ground on the belief you’re about to quit? Anyway, he has not resigned yet and the marker will be watching the outcome of a vote in the Italian Chamber of Deputies on last year’s budget report to gauge how much support remains for the PM. Investors also await news out of Athens on who will lead the new unity government.

Fundamentals from the EU remained weak yesterday as well with retail sales falling by 0.7% in the month of September with a big drop in non-food sales suggesting that continental consumers are simply only buying what they need at the moment. German industrial production was also horrific with the activity falling to the lowest since February 2009. This goes along with our belief that the Eurozone is in recession already as evidenced by the poor consumer and business activity levels of the past few week. For more on this you can see an interview I did with CNBC yesterday

Today is all about the UK. Overnight we received two pieces of poor data, one from retail, one from the housing market. The British Retail Consortium’s indicator of like-for-like sales fell by 0.6% against a -0.2% expectation while the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors’ latest survey showed that UK homeowners were showing ‘realism’ in an attempt to sell properties. Activity levels have nudged upwards however these are the key house buying times as everyone tries to get settled before Christmas. The key will be whether the Bank of England’s commitment to loose monetary policy will keep this demand buoyant or whether it will fall off. There are other factors affecting housing demand as well such as fears over the Eurozone and bank lending issues.

The Bank of England decision is this Thursday and they are expected to keep the status quo following the surprise increase in asset purchases last month.

The releases during the European session today are expected to show a slight slip in manufacturing production that’ll go hand in hand with the run of poor manufacturing PMIs that we have seen over the past quarter and will increase fears that a double-dip recession is round the corner. Even so, GBP continues to find itself at buoyant levels versus EUR and USD.

There are a shedload of European auctions today (Greece, Austria, the Netherlands and Belgium) and given the increases we are seeing elsewhere we expect that the contagion will shift to these nations if they haven’t seen it already.

Indicative Rates Sell Buy
GBPEUR 1.1658 1.1678
GBPUSD 1.6056 1.6081
EURUSD 1.3757 1.3780
GBPJPY 125.23 125.52
GBPAUD 1.5544 1.5572
GBPNZD 2.0161 2.0190
GBPCAD 1.6306 1.6335
NZDUSD 0.7953 0.7974
GBPZAR 12.73 12.78
USDZAR 7.9256 7.9602
GBPPLN 5.0784 5.1036
EURJPY 107.25 107.51

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