It has been a week of mixed fortunes for sterling, with a fresh seven-year high reached against the euro while falling to the lowest levels against the US dollar since early February. A positive start to the week saw the release of industry growth data for January from the manufacturing and construction industries beat expectations. This data was largely ignored by markets though, with investors wary in anticipation of influential releases later in the week from the US and Eurozone.
Disappointing growth in the services sector saw sterling fall away sharply against the dollar on Wednesday, with a lower-than-expected estimate of non-farm payrolls from the US failing to help sterling. Come Thursday and as the European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi spoke on the central bank’s views on inflation, sterling fell rapidly. However sterling soon recovered and ended the day at a fresh seven-year high.
Today sees the release of the official non-farm payrolls figure from the US along with the latest weekly unemployment rate. These figures both have the potential to be very influential worldwide, and investors will be eagerly awaiting the results.