Foreign Exchange Market Update
July 30, 2015
Indicative Interbank spot sell rates only as of 8:30 AM PST.
PLEASE CALL THE FX DEPARTMENT AT (626) 279-3235 FOR THE MOST CURRENT RATE
The U.S. dollar rose to almost a four-month high after the Federal Reserve moved a step closer to raising interest rates amid improvements in the labor market, while stopping short of providing more specific timing. The U.S. currency climbed as policy makers cited “solid job gains and declining unemployment” in the central bank’s policy statement, which retained most of the language from the previous meeting in June. The U.S. dollar’s reaction, limited by a dearth of new information, was the least since the Fed’s January gathering. The U.S. Dollar Spot Index, which tracks the currency versus 10 of its major peers, rose 0.3 percent to 1,207.66 at 5 p.m. in New York. The gauge climbed to 1,212.78 on July 24, the highest level since March. The U.S. dollar is up 7.7 percent this year among 10 developed-nation currencies.
The British pound climbed against its major peers as the Federal Reserve’s confirmation that it’s on course to raise interest rates this year reinforced speculation the Bank of England will follow suit. Sterling rose for a third day against the Euro after Fed policy makers said Wednesday they were satisfied with the U.S.’s progress toward full employment, boosting investor confidence higher borrowing costs will come as soon as September. The British pound strengthened 0.6 percent to 69.98 pence per Euro as of 4:20 p.m. London time, touching the highest level in more than a week and extending a 1.2 percent advance from the previous two days. Sterling rose against each of the 31 most-traded currencies except Sweden’s krona and the U.S. dollar. It was little changed at $1.5612. Sterling was also supported against the Euro after a slowdown in German inflation boosted the case for the European Central Bank to maintain its record monetary stimulus program.
With traders pricing in a greater chance of an interest-rate increase by the Fed in September, the spread on U.S. dollar-denominated swaps over those in Euros reached 0.881 percentage point Thursday, the highest since 2007. At about $1.09 per Euro, the U.S. dollar is still 4.5 percent away from its March high of $1.0458, which was the U.S. dollar's strongest since January 2003. The currency extended a rally Thursday after the Fed signaled Wednesday that it's moving closer to raising interest rates, while data showed the world's biggest economy gained momentum in the second quarter.
New Zealand’s dollar was the worst performer versus the U.S. dollar. The New Zealand dollar dropped 0.7 percent to 66.17 U.S. cents, adding to a 0.3 percent decline on Wednesday.
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.