Forex Europe Market Review – Pound jumps after BOE policy statement

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Euro has been range bound against the dollar during the Asian and European sessions today. Political uncertainty in Greece is keeping the single currency under pressure, but it is also being supported thanks to the news that the EFSF has committed to paying the next scheduled bailout installment to Greece today after concerns that it would be held back. This will prevent the country from going bankrupt by June. In the meantime, the focus is on the Greek PASOK party to attempt to form a coalition government. Failing this would result in another round of elections. EURUSD traded the Europe session between 1.2923 and 1.2967.

 

Sterling jumped  against most major counterparts, especially against dollar, euro and yen after the Bank of England policy statement today. The central bank kept interest rates unchanged at 0.5 percent as expected, and also kept its asset purchase program on hold at 325 billion pounds due to sticky high inflation. GBPUSD jumped after the policy statement at 11:00 GMT, from 1.6113 to 1.6172, clawing back earlier losses.

 

The broadly stronger pound pushed euro to new 3/1/2 year lows. EURGBP fell to 0.7999, the lowest level since November 2008.

 

The yen-dollar was flat and held on to its recent gains as a result of stronger Japanese trade and current account figures released earlier today. USDJPY traded between 79.60 and 79.76. EURJPY traded between 102.94 and 103.43.

 

The Australian dollar rallied on stronger headline jobs growth, (15.5K versus  minus 5K expected) which lowered the unemployment rate by more than expected to 4.9 percent. AUDUSD climbed to a high of 1.0111, well above Wednesday’s 4-1/2 month low of 1.0020.