June 24, 2015
Indicative Interbank spot sell rates only as of 8:30 AM PST.
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The U.S. dollar has been rising in anticipation of the Federal Reserve’s first interest-rate increase since 2006, reducing the value of earnings abroad when converted back into the greenback. The rally has also made goods sold by American companies less competitive overseas. U.S. Dollar Spot Index reached a record on March 13, capping a 22 percent advance that began in July. The gauge -- which tracks the greenback against 10 major peers including the euro, yen and British pound -- has since fallen 3.9 percent. The dollar is forecast to strengthen versus all but three of its 31 major peers by Dec. 31. At the end of last year, the dollar was predicted to drop against 13.
Bank of England policy maker Martin Weale suggested U.K. interest rates may need to rise as early as this summer. On cue, the best-performing major currency over the past three months strengthened versus most of its 16 major peers. Weale, who voted for higher borrowing costs in the five BOE meetings through December, told the Financial Times that strong wages data meant the central bank should be ready to move in August. The pound was little changed at $1.5728 as of 3:20 p.m. London time, after sliding 1 percent in the previous two days. It appreciated as much as 0.2 percent to 70.85 pence per euro, before pulling back to 71.14, 0.2 percent lower.
The euro rallied after its biggest drop in three months as European leaders sought to break the deadlock over Greece’s debt. The common currency strengthened against most of its major peers after falling versus all of them on Tuesday. Greece’s creditors handed the government revised terms for an agreement as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras expressed incredulity that his own list of proposals to secure bailout funds had fallen short. German bonds rallied on haven demand while the nation’s finance ministry downplayed the chances of an imminent Greek deal. The euro advanced 0.1 percent to $1.1182 as of 10:50 a.m. New York time, after diving 1.5 percent on Tuesday, the most in three months. The single currency rose 0.4 percent to 138.99 yen, erasing some of its 1.1 percent slump Tuesday. The euro has dropped 4.2 percent this year, the worst performer after New Zealand’s dollar among 10 developed-nation currencies.
The New Zealand dollar fell to as low as 68.15 on Tuesday, its lowest in almost five years. The last time it faced the three bearish technical factors was in October 2008 in the midst of the global financial crisis. The kiwi fell 16 percent from the end of October to March 2009 of 48.95, its lowest since November 2002. As the Reserve Bank of New Zealand unexpectedly cut the benchmark interest rate to 3.25 percent on June 11 and signaled another reduction may be appropriate, the kiwi lost support from the only developed country to have raised a policy rate since the European debt crisis. The RBNZ meets on July 23. The New Zealand dollar has weakened 12 percent against the greenback this year, the worst among the 10 major peers. It traded at 68.68 U.S. cents as of 1:41 p.m. in Tokyo.
The Chinese yuan traded in Hong Kong rose to a three-week high after Chinese and U.S. officials stressed the value of cooperation at an annual summit between the nations. The offshore yuan reached 6.1998 a dollar, the strongest since June 4, before trading steady at 6.2025 as of 4:38 p.m. in Hong Kong. The People’s Bank of China cut its daily reference rate, by 0.04 percent to 6.1142. The onshore yuan closed unchanged from Tuesday at 6.2071 a dollar in Shanghai. The gap between the currency and the fixing was 1.5 percent, within the 2 percent limit. The yuan has been little changed against the dollar this year, after falling 2.4 percent in 2014. The yuan’s exchange rate is at a “fairly reasonable” level, while the U.S. still has “quite a large trade deficit” with China and believes the exchange rate is “not quite right,” PBOC Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said in Washington.
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.