Wednesday 9th April

The USD has trimmed its early gains against the Yen this morning on ongoing concerns about the health of the US economy whilst Sterling hit a record low against the Euro on expectations for lower UK interest rates. Japan's parliament formally approved the acting B of J governor Masaaki Shirakawa as the central banks permanent head and he then delivered his first rate decision by keeping rates on hold at 0.5 per cent.

Yesterday we saw some very downbeat minutes from the Fed's 18th March meeting as the committee worried that the current financial stress could trigger a nasty slide in the economy even as inflation pushes higher. Some members believed that a prolonged and severe economic downturn could not be ruled out.

No good news there for the US dollar but for now market focus is on tomorrow's ECB and B of E policy meetings and the weekends upcoming G7 meet.