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Hi All,

As promised here’s a brief update on what’s been happening with the US Dollar over the last week.


Closely watched Retail Sales (-0.3% m/m) solidly fell below market expectations as consumers curbed holiday season spending and fuelled doubts as to the willingness and capacity of households to support the economy as government incentives and spending programmes are wound back. The report conflicted with data from general merchandise retailers who reported strong December sales, prompting speculation
that bad weather in the week before Christmas restricted the headline number.

Elsewhere the data was supportive of an economy slowly dragging itself out of recession with Business Inventories (+0.4% m/m), Industrial Production (+0.6% m/m), Empire State Manufacturing Index (15.9) and UoM Consumer Confidence (72.8) all indicating an improving economic environment. However, the housing market continues to struggle as foreclosures in 2009 hit 2.8 million, an all-time record, and prospects for this year are no better with further record foreclosure notices expected to continued to be a severe drag on the economy. Not surprisingly, in this still uncertain and fragile economic environment, the Fed took pains to counter speculation that official rates were to be hiked in the coming months through several regional Fed governors who made statements that official rate increases were not on the horizon and rates will remain sub-0.25% for at least another 6 months if not longer; though they did express the intention to wind back some elements of quantitative easing (mortgage-backed security purchases) in Q1. Housing data will take centre stage this week. Meanwhile, sterling was firmer against the dollar after data showed that the UK’s trade deficit narrowed more than forecast and a survey reported a strong rise in UK retail sales.


GBP/USD movement – High’s & Low’s of last week (11-01-10 to 15-01-10)

High’s: 1.6358
Low's: 1.6022

A movement of 2.10%

Difference on £200,000

High: $327,160
Low: $ 320,440

Difference of: $ 6,720

Whilst FX isn't the most thrilling of subjects, the sooner you begin to think about your money transfers, the more likely you are to make your money go further.

Regards


Mark Bodega
Director
 
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