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Risk appetite continues to dominate the markets

Published: 23 Jul at 11 AM Tags: Pound Sterling, UK,

In a very quiet news day, market sentiment continues positive on the back of last week’s better than expected data from the two biggest economies in the world, the USA and China.

In the UK, data showed that UK government borrowing actually fell in the 2012-13 fiscal year with Public sector net borrowing, excluding the cost of interventions such as the Royal Mail pension transfer revised down to a total of £116.5 billion. This is a reduction of £2.1 billion from the previous fiscal year.

The data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that tax revenues from households and businesses rose by 15% during June but local government borrowing also rose.

The ONS data showed that the UK government remains on course to reduce the budget deficit in line with forecast three months into current fiscal year.

Meanwhile, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has forecast that total borrowing in the current fiscal year, excluding the effect of financial interventions and the deal with the Bank of England, will be about £120 billion or 7.5% of GDP.

In the US, the National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes in the US dropped slightly in June with a 1% fall to an annual rate of 5.08 million units from a downwardly revised 5.14 million units in May.

Analysts suggested that the surprise fall could be down to the sharp rise in mortgage borrowing rates seen at the end of June. Data showed that the average 30-year mortgage rate rose from 3.68% to 4.07% during last month.

This brought the interest rate back up to its highest level since October 2011.

Today is another quiet data day. The highlight of the week for the UK is likely to be Thursday with the publication of the preliminary Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data for the second quarter of this year from the ONS. Analysts are predicting a figure of 0.6% growth. Anything less will indicate an even more serious economic outlook for the UK than already thought and increase the likelihood of further stimulus measures from the Bank of England at their next policy meeting in August, to the detriment of the value of the pound.