Foreign Exchange Market Update
February 11, 2016
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) had fewer new claims for unemployment insurance benefits last week as the labor market overall shows improvement. Initial jobless claims, a sign of the pace of layoffs, fell by 16,000 to 269,000 in the week ending February 6. The prior week's level of 285,000 was not revised. The Monthly Treasury Statement of Receipts and Outlays of the United States Government (MTS) statement summarizes the financial activities of the Federal Government and off-budget Federal entities conducted in accordance with the Budget of the U.S. Government, i.e., receipts and outlays of funds, the surplus or deficit, and the means of financing the deficit or disposing of the surplus. This statement is available online for review.
Australia’s dollar traded at 71.00 U.S. cents at 9:45 AM PST and New Zealand dollar traded at 66.86 U.S. cents. New Zealand's manufacturing activity expanded at the fastest pace in fifteen months in January. The Business NZ Performance of Manufacturing Index, or PMI, rose to 57.9 in January from 57.0 in December. This was the highest level of growth since October 2014. Moreover, the sector has now been in continued expansion since October 2012. Both production and new orders showed strong growth at the start of the year.
Euro traded at 1.1351 against USD at 9:45 am PST. Italy's industrial production fell unexpectedly in December, posting a decline in all sectors but one, a sign that the country's economic recovery remains fragile. Industrial output in the eurozone's third-largest economy decreased 0.7% (MoM) in seasonally adjusted terms. The drop was led by a 1.8% monthly decline in intermediate goods. Output of investment goods slipped 1.3% and energy shed 0.8%. The production of consumer goods added 0.8% over the period, with durable goods expanding 2.2% and non-durables up 0.5%. December's drop is the second consecutive monthly slip after November's 0.5% decrease.
British Pound exchange rate is 1.4466 against USD at 9:45 am PST. Britain's industrial production fell by more than expected between the third and fourth quarter 2015 as the manufacturing sector continued to drag down the country's economy. Industrial production declined 1.1% month-on-month in December. It was pulled down by a 4% decline in mining & quarrying sector. November's decline was also revised down to show a 0.8% drop. On a year-on-year (YoY) basis, industrial production fell 0.4% in December, while November's gain was trimmed down to 0.7%.
Japanese Yen traded at 111.90 per USD at 9:45 am PST. The yen rose to its highest since October 2014. With global policy makers deploying unprecedented easing to boost growth, currencies have become an increasingly important channel for translating stimulus into more competitive exports and higher inflation. With the yen close to the level before a surprise expansion of stimulus in October 2014, traders are debating whether the central bank will step in to curb its strength. The BOJ hasn’t intervened in currency markets since 2011.
Canadian dollar traded at 1.3953 per USD at 9:45 am PST. New home prices in Canada edged up 0.1% in December from November, pushed up by strength in the major regions of Toronto and Vancouver. The Toronto and Vancouver both posted 0.2% advances. There was no change in prices in Calgary, capital of Canada's energy industry, where the housing market has been hard hit by a slump in oil. Prices dropped by 0.9% from December 2014.
Onshore Chinese yuan traded at 6.5710 per USD at 9:45 am PST and offshore Chinese yuan traded at 6.5289 per USD. The offshore Yuan climbed to the strongest level in more than a month after data signaled that China’s central bank is supporting the exchange rate. The nation’s foreign-exchange reserves shrank by $99.5 billion to $3.23 trillion in January as the central bank was seen intervening in both the onshore and offshore markets to slow the Yuan’s decline.
This market 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.