Overnight, the pound enjoyed early gains as European markets got off to a solid start on the back of reports that Germany and France were in agreement over the need to expand the size of the EU bailout facility to EUR 2 trillion.
European equities were closed when this news surfaced the previous day, but pushed higher on the news when they opened overnight. Risk currencies were beneficiaries of this optimism, with the pound edging up to an overnight high of 1.5848 from the Australian market closing level of 1.5750. The gains for the pound came despite MPC meeting minutes revealing members were unanimous in their vote for additional QE measures. Like most of the other risk currencies, the pound gave up its early advances when US markets started to drift, particularly after the release of the Fed's Beige Book. As equities slid, the pound retraced from its earlier high to close at 1.5774. It is little changed in the Asian session, currently trading at 1.5778 and will continue to fluctuate along with equities and risk sentiment.