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Money Transfer Today: Risk aversion grips the market

Published: 16 Apr at 9 AM Tags: Pound Sterling, Euro Exchange Rate, Dollar Exchange Rate, Australian Dollar Exchange Rate, New Zealand Dollar Exchange Rate, Canadian Dollar Exchange Rate, Euro Crisis, Rand Exchange Rate, UK, Economy,

A combination of poor economic data out of the world’s two largest economies, the USA and China led to a rout in the world’s stock and commodity markets and a large sell-off for high yielding currencies like the Australian and New Zealand dollars and the South African Rand and commodity based currencies like the Canadian dollar.

Data out yesterday showed that China's first quarter growth unexpectedly slowed down as industrial production gave a much weaker reading than was expected.

Specifically, China's first quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth dropped from 7.9% in the last quarter of 2012 to 7.7% in the first quarter of 2013. Meanwhile, industrial production for the same period also unexpectedly slowed down from 9.9% to 8.9%.

Gold futures fell by 9.3% yesterday, the biggest one day drop since 1983 as markets took fright at the sharp slowdown in the rate of growth of the Chinese economy.

Oil futures also endured a steep sell-off on Monday as worries about a slowdown in global demand weigh on the market, hitting the Canadian dollar in particular.

The euro was steady on the back of the news that the so called troika (representatives from the European Commission, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank) has finished its latest review of Greece's austerity programme and given its approval for the disbursement of the next tranche of aid of €2.8 billion. The troika inspectors concluded that Greece's debt sustainability “remains on track” after agreeing that the economic outlook is largely unchanged since the last review with continued expectations of a “gradual return to growth in 2014”.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that Germany "does not have the economic strength to launch another stimulus package now without running the risk of losing market confidence".

In the absence of any UK economic data to drag the pound down and the sell-off of risk in the market, the market made substantial gains against the high yielding currencies like the Australian and New Zealand dollar’s and South African Rand.