April 20, 2018
Indicative Interbank spot sell rates only as of 9:00 AM PST.
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United States (U.S.): There is no economic data released today. Next week data includes consumer confidence, weekly jobless claims, international trade, and GDP.
Euro traded at 1.2375 against USD at 11:45 am PST. Germany's producer price inflation accelerated for the first time in six months in March, though marginally. PPI inflation rose to 1.9% in March from February's 14-month low of 1.8%. The rate was forecast to increase to 2.0%. Excluding energy, producer prices were 1.7% higher than last year and they gained 0.1% from the previous month. Intermediate goods were 2.3% more expensive in March than a year ago. The price index for energy grew 2.4% and those of consumer goods climbed by 1.4%. On a monthly basis, producer prices edged up 0.1% from February, when it dropped by 0.1%. Prices were expected to rise by 0.2%.
Japanese Yen traded at 107.23 per USD at 11:45 am PST. Japan’s headline inflation slowed in March from February, highlighting the central bank’s struggle to hit its 2% price growth target after five years of heavy stimulus, keeping it under pressure to maintain an ultra-easy monetary policy. The core CPI, which includes oil products but excludes volatile fresh food prices, rose 0.9% year-on-year in March, matching economists’ median estimate, followed a 1.0% gain in February. Analysts expect core consumer inflation to peak later this year as upward price pressure from energy and food is likely to moderate, and will raise more hurdles in the BOJ’s path to exiting easy monetary policy. Core-core inflation index, which excludes fresh food and energy prices, rose 0.5% in the year to March, flat from the previous month. Japan’s economy expanded at an annualized 1.6% in October-December, posting its longest continuous expansion since the 1980s bubble economy, on the back of solid capital spending. Japan’s unemployment rate hovers near a 25-year low at 2.5%, which should encourage inflation by putting upward pressure on wages. However, consumer prices have risen more slowly than the BOJ had hoped, as companies hold off on raising prices and wages, citing uncertainty over the economic outlook.
Canadian dollar traded at 1.2627per USD at 11:45 am PST. Canada’s annual inflation rate in March edged up to 2.3% from 2.2% in February, the highest level in more than three years, in part due to costlier gasoline and airline tickets. The central bank predicted the temporary effects of higher gas prices and minimum wage increases would now see inflation average 2.3% this year, before settling back down to 2.1% in 2019. The Bank of Canada, which maintains a 2.0% target for inflation, has raised interest rates three times since July 2017 amid a strengthening economy and near record low unemployment, and markets see an 80% chance of an increase by this July. The main contributor to the higher annual inflation rate in March was a 17.1% jump in gasoline prices. Seven of the eight major components increased on a year-over-year basis. Retail sales increased 0.4 per cent in February to $49.8 billion. Car purchases made the biggest contribution. After stripping out auto sales, retail sales were flat in February. Consumer purchases have been slowing down in recent months as households face higher costs for borrowing, stricter mortgage rules and large debt loads.
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.