February 27, 2015
Indicative Interbank spot sell rates only as of 9:58 AM PST.
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The dollar headed for its smallest monthly advance since June as signs of economic headwinds bolstered sentiment that the Federal Reserve won’t be quick to raise interest rates. The U.S. currency weakened Friday as Fed Bank of New York President William Dudley said he sees reason for caution on how soon to increase borrowing cost. The US Dollar Spot Index, a gauge of the currency versus 10 major peers, rose 0.3 percent in February, the smallest advance since the appreciation cycle began in July. Fed Chair Janet Yellen told Congress during two days of testimony that a change in the central bank’s pledge to be “patient” on the timing of a rate increase would signal that liftoff may come at any meeting.
Euro-area authorities will use the next four months to figure out how to help Greece after June, when its current bailout extension expires, European Union Economic Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said. Greece’s bailout program was extended until June this week, preventing the euro area’s most-indebted state from losing access to EU support at the end of February. Euro-area officials have tried to keep Greece on its reform path amid the new focus on social concerns.
Sterling climbed 0.2 percent at $1.5443, extending this month’s gain to 2.6 percent. It appreciated 0.2 percent to 72.58 pence per euro, after touching 72.52 earlier on Friday, the strongest level since December 2007. Benchmark 10-year gilts declined in February by the most since December 2009 as Bank of England officials said that, despite a slowdown in consumer-price growth, the next move in borrowing costs is more likely to be up than down. Pay grew an annual 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter. It exceeded analyst estimates for a 1.7 percent increase. The jobless rate dropped to 5.7 percent.
Japan’s inflation slowed more than forecast in January, highlighting central bank chief Haruhiko Kuroda’s challenge in reflating the world’s third-biggest economy. Consumer prices excluding fresh food rose 2.2 percent from a year earlier. That was less than the median projection of 2.3 percent. While the tumble in oil prices will pull down inflation in the near term, underlying consumer price trends remain on track for the BOJ’s 2 percent goal.
The Yuan dropped to the weakest level in more than two years as China’s central bank cut its reference rate by the most in a month. The currency fell as much as 0.18 percent to 6.2699 a dollar in Shanghai, the lowest since October 2012. It traded within 0.02 percent of the lower end of its permitted trading band for the fifth day in a row, a sign it would depreciate more sharply if policy makers loosened control of the exchange rate. The Yuan fell 0.17 percent to 6.2696 a dollar in Shanghai. The offshore Yuan dropped 0.38 percent to 6.2866 in Hong Kong.
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.