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US Dollar under pressure

Published: 21 Aug at 9 AM Tags: Pound Sterling, Euro Exchange Rate, Dollar Exchange Rate, Australian Dollar Exchange Rate, Euro Crisis, UK, Economy,

The US dollar is feeling the pressure ahead of tonight’s policy announcement from the Federal Reserve, falling to a 2 month low against the pound and a six month low against the euro yesterday.

The minutes from the Fed's July meeting will hopefully shed some light on when the Federal Reserve plans to start winding up its monthly bond-buying programme. Recent US economic data has been decidedly mixed leaving investors scratching their heads as to the timing of the unwinding.

Meanwhile, the Australian Dollar fell sharply yesterday after the minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) meeting of 6 August showed that policy makers have not ruled out further rate cuts from the already historic low level. The minutes also show that policy makers are keeping a close eye on the value of the dollar.

In the UK, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) reported that gross lending hit a four-year high in July with borrowing surpassed the £16.6 billion mark, up 29% on the same month the previous year and the highest level since October 2008.

The figures indicate that the government schemes, such as 'Help to Buy', are starting to have an effect.

Caroline Purdey, a CML Market and Data Analyst, said "An improvement in sentiment and activity continues to show in the UK housing and mortgage markets, with a more positive picture also starting to emerge in the economy. Our forward estimate of gross mortgage lending in July reinforces a growing evidence base of a strengthening in the housing and mortgage markets."

In the euro zone and just a short-time before upcoming elections in Germany, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble surprisingly admitted yesterday that Greece will require a third bail-out package. To say the least, that is a deeply unpopular prospect even if this third round of aid is expected to be much smaller than the two previous ones. The European Central Bank´s Jorg Asmussen is expected to travel today to Greece to analyse which reform measures are necessary before a third dose of rescue funds is authorised.