April 24, 2014
Indicative Interbank spot sell rates only as of 08:30 AM PST.
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The U.S. dollar climbed earlier to the highest level in two weeks against a basket of peers after U.S. durable goods orders rose more than forecast in March. Bookings for goods meant to last at least three years increased 2.6 percent, the biggest increase since November, after rising 2.1 percent in the prior month, a Commerce Department report showed today in Washington. Jobless claims increased by 24,000 to 329,000 in the week ended April 19, the most in a month, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington.
The British pound rose 0.1 percent to $1.6805 after appreciating to $1.6842 on April 17, the strongest level since November 2009. Sterling gained 0.1 percent to 82.26 pence per euro. A measure of the pound’s volatility against the dollar dropped to the lowest level in 16 months even as the currency strengthened to a four-year high last week amid signs the U.K. economy is improving.
The euro erased advances against the greenback and the yen after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said slowing inflation may trigger asset purchases. A higher euro exchange rate could derail the euro zone's economic recovery, and the ECB is open to broad-based purchases of assets if the outlook for consumer-price growth weakens too much, ECB President Mario Draghi said Thursday.
The Australian dollar tumbled after muted inflation data scotched investors' expectations that the central bank would raise interest rates. Inflation figures released Wednesday were lower-than-expected. Consumer prices rose 2.9% in the first quarter from a year earlier, compared with an average forecast for a 3.2% increase. The Reserve Bank of Australia is widely seen as unlikely to raise interest rates unless inflation is above the top end of its target range of 2% to 3%.The Aussie hit a two-week low after the report, falling 0.8% to 92.91 U.S. cents late Wednesday in New York, from 93.66 U.S. cents late Tuesday, The currency was trading near a five-month high against the U.S. dollar before the inflation data. New Zealand’s dollar reversed initial gains after the central bank raised its benchmark rate for a second month. The kiwi fell 0.2 percent to 85.67 U.S. cents after climbing as much as 0.6 percent.
The Canadian dollar is marginally lower in muted trading on Thursday, with investors looking toward a speech by Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz later in the day as a possible market mover. Broad U.S. dollar strength is driving market action in the U.S./Canadian dollar pair in the absence of any major local factors. The loonie was at 1.1028 per U.S. dollar early Thursday, up from 1.1021 late on Wednesday
The Japanese yen gained a second day against the dollar as a flare-up in tensions between Russia and Ukraine stoked investor demand for safety. The yen rose 0.3 percent to 102.21 per dollar at 10:26 a.m. in New York after touching 102.09, the highest level since April 17. It added 0.4 percent to 141.18 per euro.
The Chinese yuan fell to the lowest level in 16 months after a report yesterday indicated the country’s manufacturing contracted for a fourth month. The yuan dropped 0.18 per cent, the biggest decline in two weeks, to close at 6.2489 per dollar in Shanghai, China Foreign Exchange Trading System prices show. It touched 6.2509 earlier today, the weakest since December 12, 2012. The currency has declined 3.1 per cent this year, the biggest loss among Asia’s 11 most-used currencies.
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.