STERLING rose to the highest level against the euro for 16 months on worries over euro zone government borrowing and as data showed a boost in UK service sector activity. The pound hit €1.2113/£1, the highest since late 2010.
The view that the UK economy will outperform the euro zone was given a boost by the news that service sector activity had beaten expectations to reach the highest level since July. Sterling however dragged against the US dollar as strong US employment figures boosted the US dollar and concerns over the euro zone boosted safe haven demand for the US currency. It is a quiet day for data today, with the focus elsewhere but volatility is still set to be high so call in now for a live exchange rate.
In the euro zone, the euro continued its downward spiral yesterday hitting multi-month lows against the US dollar and the pound. The issue this week is that investors are concerned over the ability of countries to raise funds on the bond markets. Having entered a period of bond auctions, Germany’s auction this week was pretty lacklustre and France had to sell at increased interest rates to attract investors yesterday. This saw a sell-off of euros again and with markets expecting sterling to breach €1.25/£1 by mid 2012, is there a possibility that we will see this sooner?