Foreign Exchange Market Update
April 24, 2015
Indicative Interbank spot sell rates only as of 8:30 AM PST.
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The U.S. dollar is heading for the first monthly loss since June as disappointing data raised doubts about the U.S. economic outlook and the willingness of the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates. A gauge of the U.S. currency has declined 1.2 percent in April amid evidence growth in the world’s largest economy remains uneven. Fed policy makers want to see signs of growth and inflation on the rise before committing to the first interest-rate increase in almost a decade. The U.S. Dollar Spot Index, which tracks the currency against 10 major peers, added 0.1 percent to 1,186.17 as of 12:27 p.m. in Tokyo. The dollar rose 0.3 percent to $1.0794 per euro. It was little changed at 119.55 yen after weakening 0.3 percent on Thursday.
The pound rose to a seven-week high against the dollar as investors took the prospect of a U.K. election with no outright winner in their stride. Sterling posted for a weekly gain versus all but one of its 16 major peers as polls indicated that neither the Conservative nor Labour parties will win enough support on May 7 to govern alone. Given the likelihood of protracted negotiations to form a workable coalition, options traders are understating the risks of the election. The pound rose 0.7 percent to $1.5167 as of 4:31 p.m. London time and touched $1.5186, the highest since March 6. The U.K. currency strengthened 0.4 percent to 71.59 pence per euro, having advanced 0.9 percent this week.
Volatility in the euro against the dollar climbed for the first time in three days as Greece and its creditors struggled to make progress in debt negotiations. The euro’s one-month implied volatility, a measure of future price swings, climbed to 11.94 percent, exceeding this year’s average. The euro pared gains after officials hurled abuse at Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis behind closed doors as they shut down his bid to find a shortcut to releasing financial aid. The 19-nation euro rose 0.4 percent to $1.0870 at 11:08 a.m. New York time, after gaining as much as 0.7 percent. The euro dropped 0.1 percent to 129.30 yen. The euro has gained 1.2 percent versus the dollar in April, poised to snap a nine-month losing streak.
Bank Of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Thursday the timing of achieving the central bank’s 2 percent inflation target may occur early in the fiscal year that starts in April 2016 and reiterated that inflation will likely pick up in the second half of this fiscal year. The BOJ unexpectedly expanded stimulus in October, spurring a yen decline. The BOJ holds a policy meeting on April 30 and releases its outlook on prices and the economy.
The yuan posted a second weekly advance on speculation China’s leadership will support the yuan’s case for being named a global reserve currency and announce more stimulus to revive a slowing economy. A preliminary manufacturing index fell to the lowest in a year. China is making the yuan more “freely usable” in order to be included in the International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Rights basket of reserve currencies, People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said in Washington on April 18. The IMF’s board is scheduled to conduct a twice-a-decade review in October. The yuan advanced 0.05 percent for the week and on Friday day to close at 6.1950 a dollar in Shanghai, China Foreign Exchange Trade System prices show. In Hong Kong, the currency was unchanged from April 17 and rose 0.02 percent Friday to 6.1946 as of 5:11 p.m. local time.
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.