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March 2017

Weekly Currency Insights from Halo Financial

Published: Tuesday 07 March 2017

What you may have missed last week – and what to watch out for this week…
  • ​​Budget takes centre stage for GBP
  • USD continues to benefit from weakness elsewhere
  • Euro static as Dutch and French elections cause concern
By David Johnson
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The Pound has continued to struggle this week as reasonably robust UK data is being overlooked by Brexit-obsessed traders and analysts. The House of Lords is causing concern for the government but they appear certain they will trigger Article 501 this month and get the whole Brexit negotiation thing underway. Sterling is creeping lower as traders anticipate that historic event.

Euro looks unfazed by the recent drop in German factory orders
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The Euro, on the other hand, has looked unfazed by the largest drop in German factory orders since 2009.  That fact alone is likely to stop the European Central Bank from slowing the supply of cheap money when they meet on Thursday in spite of consumer inflation tipping the 2.0% target level. However, that base rate and perhaps the volume of bonds the ECB holds will change and that change could come as soon as this year if inflation on the consumer and producer measures continue to rise.
 
And France’s right wing Marine Le Pen has had a boost after the unpopular Francois Fillon won his party’s backing in spite of the allegations of misuse of public funds still hanging over him. Le Pen has stated she will take France out of the EU and out of the Euro if she wins and has praised the UK for starting the ball rolling on the former. If she wins in France in 50 days, the Euro will definitely come under pressure.
 
US Dollar action this week will centre on Friday’s employment report. A strong report (200,000 or more fresh job creations) would accelerate the Federal Reserve’s plans for higher US interest rates and that would add weight to the recent US Dollar strength. 
 
Reserve Bank of Australia holds rate at 1.5%
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Down under, the Reserve Bank of Australia struck an ambivalent tone in their statement that announced interest rates on hold at 1.5%. This was a change to the previous sentiment which was rather more positive. The Aussie Dollar is largely unchanged by the news but the continuing low inflation and the RBA’s apparent contentment with that mean the Australian Dollar could weaken in the days ahead.
 
Strength in the US dollar combined with lower dairy prices to weaken the Kiwi Dollar. The NZD slipped below US$0.70 as the likelihood of any interest rate rises from the RBNZ faded into the distance.
 
And, in spite of all the vile and bad stuff going on in this crazy mixed up world, the thing that is vexing the internet is the way Nicole Kidman claps. Her splay-fingered style is attracting so much comment that there are Gifs of it all over the place. Judge it yourself by googling ‘Nicole Kidman Claps’. You won’t be disappointed.
 
A fair cop
 
A 60 year old woman is arrested for shoplifting. She is up before the local judge the next morning after pleading guilty.
“You are a woman on impeccable standing within the community. I can’t quite understand what went wrong here Mrs Jones. What is it that you took from Aldi?” asks the Judge.
“A tin of apricot halves sir,” Says Mrs Jones.
“And how many apricot halves are there in the tin?” asks the Judge.
“Seven,” says Mrs Jones.
“I suggest then that you serve 7 days in prison for your crime and I hope you have learnt your lesson,” says the Judge and, as he raises his gavel to end proceedings, there is a commotion at the back of the court.
“I’m her husband, My Lord,” says the man at the back of the court.
“And what is you reason for interrupting these proceedings Mr Jones,” says the Judge.
“Can we have the six cans of peas taken into consideration My Lord?”
 
For more information, infographics and the latest currency insights, visit www.halofinancial.com/blog
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