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US dollar mixed on growth figures

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by Elaine Frei

Sterling strengthened on Monday after new data showed that house prices in the UK rose at their fastest rate in two years in October and mortgage approvals were at their highest in two and a half years in September. Both reports appeared to indicate that the Bank of England will raise interest rates again when its monetary policy committee meets next week.

By the middle of the afternoon in New York, the UK currency was 0.2 percent higher against the US dollar to $1.9020, while it had added 0.5 percent to £0.6680 versus the euro, its highest level in a year and a quarter.

The US dollar, meanwhile, didn’t seem to know where to go as it gained 0.2 percent to $1.2715 versus the euro but dropped 0.1 percent to ¥117.40 in relation to the Japanese yen. This followed a decline by the greenback on Friday on the news that the US economy had not grown as much as had been hoped.

The yen added 0.3 percent to ¥149.30 against the euro as most analysts expected the Bank of Japan to hold interest rates at the current level of 0.25 percent when it meets on Tuesday. The yen was also helped by the news that the Swiss National Bank has added more yen to its foreign exchange reserves.

In Brazil, the reelection of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as president sent the real 0.3 percent lower to R$2.1340 to the US dollar.

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News posted: October 30, 2006

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