Daily currency report
Sterling is still vulnerable as markets brace for the results of the UK general election, which may end with no one party securing a parliamentary majority, keeping investors unclear about what shape the next government will take. The Greece saga is still making headlines and demonstrations in Athens against tough austerity measures in Greece claimed the lives of three victims.
The British pound slipped to a five week low against the dollar, though it rose to a near nine month high against the euro. UK data is very thin on the ground and the focus will all be on the outcome of the general election, which has finally reached its pivotal stage.
The US dollar rose to a new one year peak against Europe's single currency amid concerns that the debt crisis could continue to unsettle investor sentiment. Data based on private payrolls showed that companies in the US added workers in April for the third month in a row.
Eurozone retail sales numbers confirmed a weak consumer demand with sales flat in March and down 0.1 per cent on the year. However the PMI surveys for the manufacturing and service sectors remain in expansive territory. Unfortunately this data helped lift the euro only temporarily before risk aversion trades continued to weaken the single currency. The positive readings of PMI were overshadowed by the ongoing Greek debt crisis, which keeps worrying investors amid fear of contagion to other European countries.
After a three-day national holiday, the Japanese market reopened and the ongoing Greek crisis played well for the Japanese yen which strengthened across the board amid concerns in Europe. The euro plunged against the safe haven currency as the situation in Greece continued to deteriorate.