Wednesday, September 24, 2008

British pound rises to new multi-week high against yen, Wednesday, September 24, 2008 5:21:02 AM

Wednesday morning, the British pound reached a new week high against the Japanese yen and 2-day highs against the currencies of Europe and Switzerland. The pound also showed strength against the US dollar.

Against the US dollar, the British pound gained ground after hitting a low of 1.8507 at 1:35 am ET Wednesday. The pound-dollar pair is currently quoted at 1.8604, compared to 1.8525 hit late New York Tuesday.

The British currency edged down to 0.7928 against the European currency before reversing direction during early European deals on Wednesday. At 4:00 am ET, the pound reached a 2-day high of 0.7892 against the euro, compared to yesterday`s closing value of 0.7912.

The German IFO business conditions survey report for September, the Euro-Zone current account balance data for July and the Italian retail sales report for July released today, likely influenced deals in the euro-pound pair.

The Eurozone current account deficit narrowed to EUR1.7 billion in July on working day and seasonally adjusted basis, the European Central Bank said in a report today. The deficit for June was revised to EUR6.1 billion.

Results of the business confidence survey carried out by the Italian research institute, ISAE showed today that the nation`s business confidence indicator fell to 82.7 in September from 83.3 in August. Economists had expected the index to log a reading of 83.3. The September reading is the lowest October 2001.

German business sentiment fell to 92.9 in September from 94.8 in August, reports said citing a monthly survey from the Munich-based Ifo research institute today. The indicator stood below the expected reading of 94.1.

Against the Swiss franc, the sterling traded higher during early deals on Wednesday. The pound-franc pair that closed Tuesday`s North American session at 2.0127 is currently trading at a 2-day high of 2.0227.

The British currency extended its Asian session gains against the Japanese yen during early European deals on Wednesday. At 3:15 am ET, the sterling-yen pair reached a new multi-week high of 197.48, compared to Tuesday`s close of 195.55. The pair is now worth 197.17.

An index that measures Japanese all-industry business conditions in Q3 was down 10.2 percent compared to the previous quarter, the Ministry of Finance said today in its business survey index. That was higher than the -15.2 percent quarterly decline in Q2.

At 6.00am ET, the Confederation of British Industry is scheduled to release report on distributive trade for September.

The economic reports scheduled for release in the U.S. include existing home sales for August and MBA mortgage applications for September. Additionally, investors may focus on Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke`s testimony at Congress` joint economic committee.


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