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GBP Surges To Highs and Possible Yen Intervention

Another bullish week for GBPUSD ended with a strong second half pushing the rate up to the high of early February 2016. Ending the week at 1.4610, this was sharply higher from the low of 1.4400 on Monday, and bodes well for the British Pound in the coming weeks.

Whilst there was some disappointing data, including consumer confidence coming in lower at -3, the slide in the US Dollar along with strength in Japanese Yen meant that Sterling was able to gain ground and push on towards the 2016 high.

The strength in Yen is putting pressure on the Japanese economy, with Japans finance minister stating they may have to take action as the situation is worrying. Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso stated:

“The yen strengthened by five yen in two days. Obviously one-sided and biased, so-called speculative moves are seen behind it, It is extremely worrying. Tokyo will continue watching the market trends carefully and take actions when necessary,”

The strength in Yen is hitting Japan’s exporters hard, Toyota and Sony, two of Japan’s heavy weight exporters, are feeling the pinch. Goods will become more expensive overseas, and limits the profits of these giants.

The hints are string from Aso that they could intervene in the currency market to stop the steep rise.

Stateside, the Federal Reserve opted to leave interest rates unchanged, but left the door open to a possible rate hike in June. Whilst a muted response in the markets initially, the US Dollar began to slide toward the end of the week, and Gold flew higher on the news.

The coming week is another big one in the United States, with ISM Manufacturing Data out on Monday, and Non-Farm Payroll Data due on Friday. During the week leading up to Non-Farm data, the markets can be subdued, but often spring into action as the weekend approaches.

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