British Pound Sterling

The pound euro exchange rate is 0.19% lower though as the euro is bid up ahead of the much-hyped 3 YR LTRO at the ECB tomorrow. The exchange rate is currently at 1.1791.

Commenting on the state of global markets, Jyske Bank warn:

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"The weak risk aversion yesterday indicates that we are this week seeing the highest probability for a long time that the financial markets have reached/are reaching a turning point.

"Our current recommendations generally favour risk-off, and therefore we still are still holding our horses until just before/just after the ECB's LTRO allotment on Wednesday at 11.15 a.m"

Looking at the CBI data though we note sterling has taken cheer, this is one more indicator that would suggest the Bank of England may not have to create more money to support the economy. (Money creation weakens a currency as it becomes over-supplied).

Retailers saw little change in sales volumes on a year ago in the first half of February, although they held up better than expected, the CBI said today (Tuesday).

The CBI’s latest quarterly Distributive Trades Survey, which was conducted over the first two weeks of February, revealed that 34% of retailers reported an increase in their volume of sales in the year to February and 36% said they had seen a reduction. The resulting balance of -2% represents an improvement on last month’s survey (-22%) and exceeded expectations (-10%).

Similarly, the growth in the volume of orders placed upon suppliers was better than anticipated, although it remained weak (-4%).

Judith McKenna, Chair of the CBI Distributive Trades Panel and ASDA Chief Operating Officer, said:

“It’s good to see there are more positive signs on our high streets. But consumers are clearly continuing to focus their spending on day-to-day needs, rather than big ticket or luxury items.

“With disposable incomes under constant pressure, retailers remain concerned about the general business outlook for the rest of 2012.”

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