November 22, 2017
Indicative Interbank spot sell rates only as of 9:00 AM PST.
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United States (US): The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell last week after two straight weekly increases, pointing to continued steady job growth after recent hurricane-related disruptions. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 239,000 for the week ended Nov. 18, reversing the prior week's increase. The continuing claims came in at 1904K versus 1880K. The prior month was revised higher to 1868K from 1860K. Moreover, the Mortgage Bankers Association said its Market Composite Index, a measure of total mortgage application volume, was higher than the previous week. The seasonally adjusted index eked out an 0.1% gain, although the non-adjusted index was down 2.0%. In addition, new orders for key U.S.-made capital goods unexpectedly fell in October after three straight months of hefty gains. Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft declined 0.5% last month. That was the biggest drop since September 2016 and followed an upwardly revised 2.1% increase in September. Shipments of core capital goods advanced 0.4% last month after accelerating by 1.2% in September. Overall orders for durable goods fell 1.2% last month as demand for transportation equipment tumbled 4.3%. Durable goods orders increased 2.2% in September. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen cautioned that raising interest rates too quickly risked stranding inflation below the U.S. central bank’s 2% target and said there’d been “some hint” that expectations for future price increases may be drifting down.
Australia’s dollar traded at 75.88 U.S. cents at 9:09 AM PST and New Zealand dollar traded at 68.58 U.S. cents. Australian leading economic index was up 0.13% on month in October, after gaining an upwardly revised 0.14% in the previous month. Septembers original reading called for an increase of 0.08%. The value of total construction work in Australia done in the third quarter of 2017 jumped a seasonally adjusted 15.7% on quarter in the third quarter of 2017, coming in at A$61.863 billion. On a yearly basis, the value of total construction work skyrocketed 30.1%. New Zealand annual net migration rose in October and remains high by historical standards although it's lower than the record reached in July this year. Annual net migration rose to 70,700 in the year to October, from 70,300 in the same period a year earlier. The figures show 72,100 non-citizens arrived in the year, while 1,400 New Zealanders left.
Euro traded at 1.1789 against USD at 9:09 am PST. Euro zone consumer confidence rose to its highest level in nearly 17 years in November. The European Commission said a flash estimate showed euro zone consumer morale increased to 0.1 from a revised -1.1 points in October, which was higher than the average expectation of economists in a Reuters poll of -0.8. It was the first positive reading of the index since January 2001. The long-term average is below -10 points. In the European Union as a whole, consumer sentiment rose to -0.7 from -1.6 in October.
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.