Foreign Exchange Market Update
September 21, 2017
Indicative Interbank spot sell rates only as of 9:00 AM PST.
PLEASE CALL THE FX DEPARTMENT AT (626) 279-3235 FOR THE MOST CURRENT RATE
United States (US): Jobless Claims fell by 23k to 259k during the week ended September 16th, compared with market expectations for an increase to 300k.The 4-week average rose by 6.0k to 269k and the 13 week average rose by 1.3k to 250k. Continuing Claims rose by 44k during the week ended September 9th to 1,980k, after the prior week was revised slightly lower from 1,940k to 1,936k. The 4-week average rose by 7k to 1,953k. The Philadelphia Fed Index rose by 4.9 points in September to 23.8%, compared with market expectations for 17.1%. This indicates that manufacturing activity in the mid-Atlantic region still expanded in the last month. On an ISM-weighted basis, the index rose less than the headline, indicating that the details were somewhat mixed compared to the headline figure. New Orders expanded and accelerated sharply. Shipments expanded and also accelerated sharply. Unfilled Orders accelerated sharply while Inventories dropped.
Australia’s dollar traded at 79.32 U.S. cents at 9:33 AM PST and New Zealand dollar traded at 73.12 U.S. cents. New Zealand’s gross domestic product grew faster in the second quarter. GDP rose 0.8% q/q in the three months ended June, up from a revised rise of 0.6% in Q1 (previously 0.5%) and dead-on a median estimate from economists surveyed by Reuters. Exports grew 5.2% from the previous quarter, with exports of goods notching the largest quarterly growth in almost 20 years and driven in large part by shipments of dairy and forestry products. Contraction in the construction sector eased to 1.1% from a fall of 2.1% in the March quarter. Total credit card spending in New Zealand decreased for the first time in six months in August. Credit card spending fell 0.7% m/m in August, reversing 0.8% rise in the previous month. Domestic billings dropped 0.1% over the month to NZ$3.09 billion and overseas billings also edged down by 0.1%. On an annual basis, credit card spending growth eased to 6.4% in August from 7.1% in July.
Euro traded at 1.1934 against USD at 9:33 am PST. Euro zone consumer confidence rose by more than expected in September. The European Commission said confidence among consumers in the 19 countries sharing the euro currency rose to -1.2 from -1.5 in August. Analysts had expected the indicator to remain unchanged from its August reading. In the European Union as a whole, consumer sentiment increased by 0.8 points to -1.5 in September.
British Pound exchange rate is 1.3559 against USD at 9:34 am PST. UK public sector borrowing is at its lowest level since the financial crisis. Public sector net borrowing exclude Banking Groups in August was £5.7bn, far better than economists' more gloomy forecast of £7.1bn. For the financial year to date, from April to August, borrowing was at £28.3bn, £200m lower than the year before. This was the lowest amount for the five-month period since 2007 and the Government is currently on course to undershoot the Office for Budget Responsibility's forecast on borrowing.
Japanese Yen traded at 112.37 per USD at 9:34 am PST. the Bank of Japan voted by an eight-to-one majority to stand pat, keeping the policy rate at -0.1% and the 10-year Japanese government bonds (JGB) yield target at 0%. Japan's all industry activity decreased slightly in July, after rebounding in the previous month. The all industry activity index dropped 0.1% m/m in July, reversing a 0.2% rise in June. The figure also matched consensus estimate. Industrial output contracted 0.8% monthly in July, while construction activity showed no variations. Tertiary activity registered an increase of 0.1%. On a yearly basis, all industry activity growth moderated to 2.0% in July from 2.2% in the prior month.
Canadian dollar traded at 1.2327 per USD at 9:34 am PST. The value of Canadian wholesale trade unexpectedly jumped in July, making for the biggest increase in six months as gains were seen across several sectors, including building materials and food. The 1.5% increase exceeded economists’ forecasts and was the biggest increase since January. June’s figures were downwardly revised to show a decrease of 0.6% from an initially reported 0.5% decline. Stripping out the effects of price changes, July volumes were even stronger, up 2.1%, the largest gain since December 2016. Attention will likely turn to Friday’s retail sales data to see how growth at the start of the third quarter is shaping up after a strong first half of the year.
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 situations or needs of any recipient. Cathay Bank does not make any representations or warranties about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of this market update.