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The pound enjoys another good day

Published: 22 Aug at 9 AM Tags: Pound Sterling, Euro Exchange Rate, Dollar Exchange Rate, Currency Exchange, Euro Crisis, UK, Economy,

The pound enjoyed another good day in the foreign exchange market yesterday despite some mixed economic data.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that public sector net borrowing, excluding the temporary effects of financial interventions and also excluding the effects of the transfers from the Bank of England Asset Purchase Facility Fund, was £0.5 billion pounds in July, £1.3 billion higher than in July 2012. This is also the first July deficit since 2010.

The report also shows that total current central government receipts expanded by 4.2% to £54.5 billion while expenditure also expanded, but by 3.7% to £51.2 billion and net investment increased by £3.4 billion or 48.7%.

Better news came from the Confederation of British Industry which reported that UK manufacturers saw their order books grow by the most since August 2011 in July on the back of a significant rise in production levels. Better still the surveyed firms believe output will increase at an even faster pace in the next three months.

Commenting on the data Stephen Gifford, CBI Director of Economics, said “Domestic and export orders have rebounded almost across the board, and manufacturers expect this strength to continue during the next three months. UK manufacturers seem to be experiencing a build-up in momentum, but risks in the global economy still mean that it won’t be plain-sailing for some time to come.”

Overnight, the US dollar gained traction against the other major currencies as the minutes from the last Federal Reserve monetary-policy meeting were published last night and revealed that officials are planning to start tapering stimulus measures later this year. However, there is division amongst officials as to the timing of the first reduction in bond purchases with some advocating tapering soon while a few urged cautious over reducing stimulus measures too soon.

In the euro zone, European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro Olli Rehn indicated that he didn’t rule out the possibility that Greece may eventually need a third bailout. This follows the comments from German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble explicitly commented on Tuesday that “there will have to be another programme for Greece”.