Foreign Exchange Market Update
April 18, 2014
Indicative Interbank spot sell rates only as of 08:30 AM PST.
PLEASE CALL THE FX DEPARTMENT AT (626) 279-3235 FOR THE MOST CURRENT RATE
The U.S. dollar headed for weekly gains against the euro and the yen as improving economic data backed speculation the Federal Reserve will remove stimulus this year. The greenback rose for a fifth day yesterday against a basket of peers after data showed manufacturing in the Philadelphia region grew at the fastest pace in seven months. Other figures showed the number of Americans filing for unemployment insurance payments hovered near a seven-year low, while an index of leading indicators next week is forecast to rise. The Philadelphia Fed’s factory index increased to 16.6 in April, the highest since September, data showed yesterday. Initial jobless claims rose by 2,000 to 304,000 in the week ended April 12 from a revised 302,000 the prior period that was the lowest since September 2007, a Labor Department report showed. The dollar was little changed at $1.3816 per euro at 10:52 a.m. in New York, set for a 0.5 percent weekly advance. It was unchanged at 102.42 yen after touching 102.57, the strongest level since April 8, and is set for a 0.8 percent advance since April 11.
The British pound slipped against the U.S. dollar traded at $1.6787. Sterling hit a 4-1/2-year high of $1.6842 on Thursday, after better-than-expected UK jobless data bolstered expectations the Bank of England may have to raise interest rates earlier than its peers.
The euro was at 1.3814 U.S. dollar, little changed over the past few sessions. It hit a 2-1/2-year high near $1.40 last month, and since then a number of European Central Bank (ECB) officials have tried to talk it down given concerns that a strong currency could derail the euro zone's fragile economic recovery. The latest was Executive Board member Yves Mersch, who said a sustained appreciation in the euro would inevitably trigger a reaction from the ECB. Last weekend, ECB President Mario Draghi identified the euro's strength as a possible trigger for easing policy.
The Australian dollar was at 93.36 U.S. cents from 93.30 cents, set for a 0.7 percent decline this week, the most since the five days to Jan. 24. It touched 94.61 on April 10, the highest since Nov. 8.
The Canadian dollar weaken against the U.S. dollar today after improving U.S. economic data backed speculation the Federal Reserve will remove stimulus this year.
The Japanese yen slipped to a 10-day low against the dollar on Friday after speculators unwound some safe-haven trades following encouraging U.S. economic data and on hopes for a diplomatic initiative seeking an end to violence in Ukraine. The yen traded at 102.39 per U.S. dollar.
The Chinese yuan traded within 0.1 percent of this month’s low after the central bank weakened the currency’s reference rate amid concern a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy will deepen. New-home price increases moderated across the country last month, a government report showed today. Gross domestic product rose the least in six quarters in the January-March period, according to data released April 16. Monetary policy is likely to be kept “neutral and relatively loose” in the short term, according to a front-page commentary in today’s China Securities Journal. The securities regulator unveiled a plan on April 10 to connect the stock exchanges of Hong Kong and Shanghai, a step forward in freeing up the nation’s capital account. The currency slipped 0.08 percent to close at 6.2242 per dollar in Shanghai, China Foreign Exchange Trading System prices show. The spot rate was at a 1.05 percent discount to the central bank’s daily reference rate, which was weakened by 0.02 percent to 6.1586. The maximum allowed divergence is 2 percent. The yuan fell 0.21 percent this week and reached 6.2298 yesterday, the weakest since March 31.
This market update is prepared by Cathay Bank for informational purposes only and does not constitute any form of legal, tax or investment advice, nor should it be considered an assurance or guarantee of future exchange rate movements or trends. This information is provided without regard to the specific objectives, financial situation or needs of any recipient. Cathay Bank does not make any representations or warranties about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of this market update.