The GBP has continued a strong trend upwards in value. Yesterday’s Halifax HPI came in better than expected with a gain of 1.1% which beat the estimate of 0.2%. The U.K. continues to work towards its austerity plans and has come under criticism for this fiscal policy from among others the IMF. However, the U.K. government, particularly the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, have stood firm and do not show signs of wavering. While the economy of the U.K. continues to show that it faces headwinds it is certainly not under the same amount of stress as many of its European counterparts. The Sterling is still below the value it had at this time last year, but its performance for the past month has produced strong results against the USD. On today’s calendar for the U.K. are the Manufacturing Production numbers and the BoE’s Official Bank Rate pronouncement. No major surprises are expected from the Bank of England today.

The EUR remains within its range, but it did climb in yesterday’s trading against the USD, like many of the major currencies. The German Industrial Production numbers came in better than its estimate on Wednesday with a gain of 1.2% compared to the prediction of minus -0.1%. Data will be very light from Europe today with many nations taking a holiday for Ascension Day including Germany, France, and Switzerland meaning some traders will be away from their desks. Tomorrow German Trade Balance data and Italian Industrial Production figures will be brought forth.

Gold is trading near 1472.00 USD as of this morning. The precious metal turned in gains yesterday and is well placed within its short-term range. Crude Oil has shown some ability to climb in value the past week and WTI is pushing towards its highs. Commodity prices should be watched carefully today and tomorrow considering that China continues to turn in rather questionable economic data. The Yuan as of early this morning traded towards it highest values. Inflation data from the Asian giant was higher than expected today too. The stronger Yuan will put even more pressure on Chinese exporters.

The U.S. will release weekly Unemployment Claims numbers today. However other data will be rather tame from the States as it has been all week, tomorrow will be quiet also. Wall Street continued its run upwards on Wednesday. While the gains weren’t mammoth, the major indexes have not shown any inclination to end their bull run. A large amount of quarterly earnings will be released today in the U.S. also, but the momentum in the equity markets has not exactly come from corporate reports in our opinion.