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EUR/USD update (31st Aug 2012, 15:30)

The euro has climbed to a session-high today, its strongest level against the US dollar since the start of August. 

At present today's hotly-awaited speech by Fed chairman Ben Bernanke is taking the spotlight, but following closely on its heels is next week's ECB monetary policy meeting.

Data this morning showed that inflation in the eurozone rose by more-than-forecast during August, rising on an annual basis from 2.4% in July to 2.6%. The market consensus was for a smaller gain in the inflation rate to 2.5%. This news is more likely to deter ECB officials from cuttting interest-rates next week, and this is likely to have encouraged the euro's gains versus the dollar this morning.

However, there was further disappointing data this morning from the 17-member eurozone, which could still potentially lead to a cut in eurozone rates next week in order to try and boost growth. Eurozone unemployment has reached a new high level of 18 million, while the rate is unchanged at 11.3%. In addition to this setback, traders were also contending with a fairly dramatic fall in German retail sales, which came in at -0.9% against expectations for a gain of 0.2%. EUR/USD reached a high of $1.2591 a little earlier on Friday before dropping back slightly.
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European equities are set to start on the back foot as last week’s negative sentiment remains firmly intact. 

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EUR/USD update (31st Aug 2012, 15:30)

The euro has climbed to a session-high today, its strongest level against the US dollar since the start of August. 

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