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The Pound falls

Published: 31 Aug at 1 PM Tags: Pound Sterling, Euro Exchange Rate, Dollar Exchange Rate, Australian Dollar Exchange Rate, Forex, Euro Crisis, UK, Economy,

The pound fell again as trading re-started after Monday’s Bank Holiday in the UK and traded at a 6 month low against the US Dollar and a 9 month low against the Australian Dollar.

Uncertainty over the UK political outlook seems to be weighing heavily on the Pound after Alex Salmond, the leader of the ‘Yes’ campaign for Scottish independence in the forthcoming 18 September referendum was seen to have won Monday night’s second and last televised debate.

Auditors Deloitte published a report yesterday warning that the prospect of political upheaval over the next year in the UK will hinder economic growth as the fallout from the Scottish independence referendum next month, the build-up to the general election in the UK in May 2015 and a potential referendum on European Union membership by 2017 could put a dampener on the UK economy at the start of 2015.

Meanwhile, Sir James Mirrlees, a Nobel Prize-winning economist and a prestigious figure on Scotland's Council of Economic Advisers commented yesterday that an independent Scotland should walk away from its share of the UK's national debt if the government at Westminster continues to refuse a sterling union.

Finally on the UK, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) reported yesterday that the UK services industry slumped to its slowest growth in a year in the last three months according to its latest survey with business volumes in the three months to August rising at their weakest rate for 12 months.

CBI deputy director-general Katja Hall commented that "The slowing in the pace of growth and profits in the service sector reflects our view that momentum in the economy will ease in the second half of the year. But this doesn't necessarily mean a gear change in the recovery. It's encouraging that our service sector firms continue to feel upbeat, especially when looking ahead to the next quarter. Employing more staff and planning to increase investment are positive steps in the quest for sustainable growth. However, skills shortages mean it is increasingly hard for firms to find and hire the right people. It's important that business and government address this issue together, to put the economy of the future on the right footing."

Over the pond, data showed that US durable goods orders jumped by 22.6% in July and the index for US consumer confidence rose to 92.4 in August, surprising analysts who had expected a small fall. Yesterday’s data underlies the ongoing recovery in the world's largest economy.

The rise in confidence fed through to the world’s stock markets with New York’s key S&P 500 index closing at an all-time high after breaking the 2,000 level barrier for the first time in history.