April 28, 2015
Indicative Interbank spot sell rates only as of 8:30 AM PST.
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The U.S. dollar fell to a two-month low on speculation disappointing economic data will push back the Federal Reserve’s first interest-rate increase in nine years. An index tracking the greenback against major peers declined for a fifth day, the longest streak since July, as a consumer-confidence measure slumped to the lowest since December. A report Wednesday is forecast to show the U.S. economy grew at the slowest pace in a year. Central-bank policy makers will wait until September to raise borrowing costs. The U.S. Dollar Spot Index slipped 0.6 percent to 1,171.44 at 10:55 a.m. New York time, reaching the lowest level on a closing basis since Feb. 25. It touched 1,222.94 on March 13, the highest in records dating back to 2004. The U.S. currency weakened 0.7 percent to $1.0965 per euro and 0.2 percent to 118.83 yen.
The pound posted its longest winning streak in almost a year against the dollar, defying a report that showed U.K. economic growth slowed more than analysts forecast in the first quarter. Sterling reversed an earlier decline versus the U.S. currency as investors downplayed risks from next week’s election. While two-week volatility on the pound against the dollar has jumped to the highest since September, a three-month measure of anticipated price swings has slipped to a more than seven-week low, showing investors are more concerned about the immediate aftermath of the election than the U.K.’s longer-term stability. The pound rose 0.5 percent to $1.5321 as of 4:04 p.m. London time having dropped as much as 0.4 percent earlier on Tuesday. It touched $1.5337, the highest since March 4. Sterling’s six-day gain versus the dollar is the longest since May 2014. The U.K. currency weakened 0.3 percent to 71.69 pence per euro, having strengthened 0.6 percent over the previous two days.
The euro erased losses versus the dollar as Greece stepped up efforts to reach an accord with creditors in time to avert a default. The nation removed day-to-day responsibility for seeking the agreement from Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, after euro-area finance ministers last week pilloried his approach to bailout negotiations. Greek bonds rallied with Spanish and Italian bonds amid optimism a revised approach may lead to a breakthrough.
Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said there’s no need for additional rate cuts amid evidence the economy is recovering from a drop in oil prices. Poloz, speaking to lawmakers Tuesday, said a combination of factors including interest rate cuts globally and a rebound in oil prices makes him confident the economy will recover in the coming months. The Bank of Canada made a surprise rate cut in January to buffer the effect of collapsing crude oil prices on incomes and spending. Poloz described the move at the time as “insurance” amid the uncertainty.
The Chinese yuan rebounded from the biggest loss in a year on bets the drop was excessive and as the central bank raised the currency’s fixing to a three-month high. The onshore yuan slumped 0.41 percent Monday on speculation the central bank will boost the supply of funds by buying local government debt and cutting interest rates. The People’s Bank of China is discussing unconventional policies to rebuild its balance sheet and revive the economy, Market News International reported Monday, citing people it didn’t identify. The yuan gained 0.24 percent, the most since March 19, to close at 6.2057 a dollar in Shanghai, China Foreign Exchange Trade System prices show. In Hong Kong’s offshore market, the currency climbed 0.1 percent to 6.2093 as of 4:43 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.