The pound rose above $1.62 to the highest level in almost nine months after reports showed house prices climbed the most in six years and mortgage approvals increased, adding to signs the economy is gaining momentum.
German companies are more bullish on the euro’s prospects over the next three months than at any time since February, showing confidence in the ability of the European Central Bank’s interest-rate cuts to spur the economy.
The forint strengthened against the euro, paring last week’s losses on speculation Hungary will resume talks with the International Monetary Fund while European stress tests added to optimism about the global recovery.
South Africa’s rand gained the most in more than a week after European finance ministers said measures to curb the region’s debt crisis won’t tip the economy back into recession, boosting appetite for higher-yield assets.
The euro strengthened from a four- month low against the dollar as Cyprus sought alternatives to the European Union plan to help the nation avoid a banking collapse and the Federal Reserve maintained stimulus measures.