Foreign Exchange Market Update
July 3, 2015
Indicative Interbank spot sell rates only as of 8:30 AM PST.
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The U.S. dollar headed for its second weekly gain before Greece holds a vote that may go a long way to determining if the nation stays in the euro area. A gauge of the greenback reached a three-week high on Thursday, before retreating as a U.S. jobs report showed wage growth unexpectedly stalled last month. The dollar advanced against 12 of its 16 most actively traded peers this week. A poll showed Greek voters were divided down the middle heading into Sunday’s referendum on European bailout proposals that the government has rejected. The U.S. Dollar Spot Index, which tracks the U.S. currency against 10 of its major peers, was little changed at 1,187.09 as of 12:49 p.m. London time, up 0.6 percent this week. It rose to 1,192.05 on Thursday, the highest since June 8. The U.S. currency declined 0.1 percent to $1.1098 per euro, reducing its gain this week to 0.6 percent, and was little changed at 122.92 yen.
The British pound rose for the first time in six days against the dollar as a gauge of U.K. services growth accelerated in June more than economists predicted. Sterling strengthened versus most of its 16 major peers, trimming a weekly decline against the U.S. currency. An index of services, based on a survey of purchasing managers, climbed to 58.5 last month from 56.5 in May. The median forecast was 57.5. The timing of when the Bank of England will tighten monetary policy was still difficult to predict as U.K. data have been mixed. A measure of manufacturing output, released July 1, showed the slowest pace of growth in two years. The pound rose 0.2 percent to $1.5640 as of 11:35 a.m. London time, paring this week’s decline to 0.7 percent. Sterling was little changed at 71.06 pence per euro, 0.2 percent weaker since June 29.
Australia’s dollar dropped to a six-year low on signs of sluggish consumer spending and after iron ore prices slid the most in two months. The Aussie fell for a third day against the U.S. dollar, the longest streak in a month, as data showed retail sales rose 0.3 percent in May from the previous month, compared with the median economist estimate for 0.5 percent growth. It’s down versus 12 of its 16 major peers this week. The Australian dollar slumped 1.6 percent to 75.15 U.S. cents as of 4:14 p.m. London time, after falling as low as 75.09 cents, a level unseen since May 2009. It slumped 1.8 percent to 92.21 yen, after being at 92.09, the weakest level since April 21.
China’s yuan had the biggest weekly gain since May amid signs the government will keep opening up its economy to foreign investors. The liberalization of financial markets will be accelerated, People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said at a meeting in Beijing on Thursday. China wants to boost global use of the yuan to support its case to have the International Monetary Fund add it to a basket of reserve currencies at a review in November. The official Purchasing Managers’ Index released Wednesday showed manufacturing expanded for a fourth month in June. The yuan gained 0.06 percent this week, the most since the period ended May 22, to close at 6.2057 a dollar in Shangha. The currency was little changed on Friday. The PBOC set its daily reference rate at 6.1160, 0.04 percent weaker than on June 26. The gap between the spot rate and the fixing was 1.5 percent, within the 2 percent limit.
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.